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ABA Therapy 101

If you're on this page, chances are you've recently received an autism diagnosis for your child. So, what's next? There are many treatments for autism, and figuring out which one is best for your child can feel overwhelming and complicated. The most common treatment is ABA therapy, also known as Applied Behavior Analysis. ABA therapy is firmly evidence-based, and helps children with autism develop adaptive skills and prevent problematic behavior. It has been successful in helping children across the entire autism spectrum, from mild to severe. This page will be your guide to understanding the ins and outs of ABA therapy, and how it can help your child.

What is ABA therapy?

ABA therapy is a systematic and evidence-based approach to understanding and modifying behavior.

Quick points to know:

  • ABA therapy is based on learning and behavioral science
  • Parents and children will work with a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) to support learning new skills (such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, etc)
  • Treatment can be applied in multiple settings where clinically appropriate (home, school, etc.)

ABA therapy benefits children by helping them develop essential skills, manage challenging behaviors, and improve their overall quality of life through personalized and evidence-based interventions. For parents, ABA therapy provides support and strategies to better understand and address their child's unique needs, leading to more effective communication, reduced stress, and increased confidence in their ability to support their child's growth and development. It also empowers parents with practical tools to foster positive interactions and maintain progress outside of therapy sessions, promoting a more harmonious family environment.

At its heart, ABA therapy is a scientific approach to helping individuals with autism and related diagnoses improve their lives. There are 7 core dimensions of ABA therapy:

  • Generality: Skills learned through ABA therapy are meant to be applicable across different settings, people, and situations.
  • Effective: ABA therapy aims to find treatment that works. ABA specialists will keep working with parents to find the right intervention plan for your child.
  • Technological: ABA intervention plans are described in a way that others can replicate them, ensuring treatment consistency.
  • Conceptually Systematic: ABA therapy is based on the principles of behavior analysis and seeks to understand the underlying factors driving behavior.
  • Applied: ABA therapy focuses on applying behavior analysis techniques to real-life situations and meaningful behaviors.
  • Analytic: ABA therapy uses systematic data collection and analysis to determine the effectiveness of interventions.
  • Behavioral: It targets observable and measurable behaviors to track progress and make data-driven decisions.

ABA therapy can help children with autism develop skills in these areas:

  • Self-care
  • Communication
  • Academic behavior
  • Managing stress
  • Language
  • Play
  • Safety
  • Emotional development
  • Self-injury and aggression prevention

And more! Continue reading about ABA therapy goals here.

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We’re here to provide you and your child with support following an autism diagnosis. Learn more about ABA therapy and understanding autism by visiting our blog.

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