What does aba therapist stand for

What Is ABA Therapy? The Benefits, Challenges, and Misconceptions

Autism spectrum disorder affects approximately 1 in 54 children in the United States, according to the National Autism Association. The rate of autism has increased over the last 20 years as doctors have gotten better at diagnosing and awareness of early warning signs has grown. Still, many parents are not aware of life-changing interventions like ABA therapy, which has been shown to significantly benefit children with autism. In this article, we’ll walk you through what it is, how it helps, and how to get started with ABA therapy.

Understanding autism
Autism is a developmental disorder that presents challenges with communication and social interaction. People with autism may have difficulty having two-way conversations and shared interests with family members, peers, and people out in their community. Understanding other people’s emotions might be tough for a person with autism. They may also show different behavior patterns, such as repeating the same movement or word over and over, or have challenges with switching routines and other inflexibilities.

What is ABA therapy?
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior. It is considered a medically necessary treatment for people with autism. ABA therapy can be performed at home, at school and out in the community.

ABA therapy involves working with a trained healthcare professional called a registered behavior technician (RBT), who works with the child or adult to support learning skills that are part of daily living, such as brushing teeth, getting dressed and making a meal. ABA therapy also focuses on helping to reduce challenging behaviors and build social skills.

A behavior technician is supervised by a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA). BCBAs have a master’s degree or higher in behavior analysis, psychology, or education and must pass a national certification exam.

Benefits of ABA therapy
“We teach new skills by breaking them down into really small steps,” says Erin Isbell, a board-certified behavior analyst and clinical manager at Maxim Healthcare Services. “For teeth brushing, I would literally break it down as in, walk to the bathroom, turn on the light, turn on the sink, and so on, and then put it all together for the learner to have a teeth-brushing routine.” Learners are rewarded for engaging in the routine; it is usually something they like, such as play, a favorite toy or an activity.

Through play, ABA therapy helps children with autism learn social skills. A behavior technician teaches the child to play next to a peer, and then with a peer, and then to share, and then to talk in conversations. “With adult learners, we might teach how to engage in a two-way conversation and how to ask questions,” says Isbell. “With a child, we help them ask for what they need in that moment, such as saying, ‘I want help’ or ‘book.’” It’s all about functional communication – helping individuals build these skills in order to have their needs met.

Changes in routine can be very difficult for individuals with autism. When schools closed due to the pandemic, the change disproportionately affected children with autism. Many parents lost access to ABA therapy resources, although some have adjusted and are providing telehealth services.

“I tell my clients to try and be as consistent as possible with routines in the home,” says Isbell. “It’s important for parents to give themselves a break during this time and do what they can to support their child.”

Screening for autism
The average age for children to be diagnosed with autism is about 4 years old. But, children as young as 18 months show signs that parents can recognize. There are early warning signs of autism that parents of very young children should know, including:

  • Lack of eye contact
  • Not responding to name when called
  • Developmental delays

Children are typically screened for signs of autism during well child visits. If parents recognize any of these signs of autism, they should communicate with the child’s primary doctor or pediatrician. The doctor may see your child and perform a more detailed screening to further identify delays, and may also refer you to a specialist. Doctors who typically diagnose children with autism include clinical psychologists, neurologists, and developmental pediatricians.

Importance of early intervention
Often, parents who have a child showing signs of autism don’t take the child to the doctor for evaluation. Parents may not recognize the signs of autism, may hope their child will outgrow their symptoms, or simply do not know the next step to take to help their child.

“Early identification and intervention is an important way for parents to support their child with autism,” says Sean Stone, regional director of product support at Maxim Healthcare Services. Once a child is diagnosed with autism, they can begin learning the skills they need to communicate and support themselves in the future. Parents feel a sense of relief once there is a plan in place to help their child be successful.

Paying for ABA therapy
A lot of parents don’t know that ABA therapy and other autism-related services are available to them and covered by insurance. Many state health insurance plans including Medicaid cover ABA therapy for children through age 21. The rules and requirements vary by state, so be sure to check your state-specific guidelines.


ABA therapy and other autism-related services are available for families, but many don’t know they exist. “I wish more people knew that they could access these services,” says Stone. Don’t assume your pediatrician’s office has all the information. The best thing is for families to get educated and find out what resources and services are available in your area.

Additional resources

  • National Institutes of Health: “Top 10 Reasons Children With Autism Deserve ABA”
  • Autism Speaks: Parent’s Guide to Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Behavior Analyst Certification Board: About Behavior Analysis

Maxim Healthcare Services helps families get access to ABA therapy and other autism-related services. If you have a child who was diagnosed with autism, contact Maxim today to learn more about resources and support that are available to you.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) | Autism Speaks

What is Applied Behavior Analysis? 

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior.

Behavior analysis helps us to understand:

  • How behavior works
  • How behavior is affected by the environment
  • How learning takes place

ABA therapy applies our understanding of how behavior works to real situations. The goal is to increase behaviors that are helpful and decrease behaviors that are harmful or affect learning.

ABA therapy programs can help:

  • Increase language and communication skills
  • Improve attention, focus, social skills, memory, and academics 
  • Decrease problem behaviors

The methods of behavior analysis have been used and studied for decades. They have helped many kinds of learners gain different skills – from healthier lifestyles to learning a new language. Therapists have used ABA to help children with autism and related developmental disorders since the 1960s.

How does ABA therapy work?

Applied Behavior Analysis involves many techniques for understanding and changing behavior. ABA is a flexible treatment:  

  • Can be adapted to meet the needs of each unique person
  • Provided in many different locations – at home, at school, and in the community
  • Teaches skills that are useful in everyday life
  • Can involve one-to-one teaching or group instruction
Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is one of the main strategies used in ABA.

When a behavior is followed by something that is valued (a reward), a person is more likely to repeat that behavior. Over time, this encourages positive behavior change.

First, the therapist identifies a goal behavior. Each time the person uses the behavior or skill successfully, they get a reward. The reward is meaningful to the individual – examples include praise, a toy or book, watching a video, access to playground or other location, and more.

Positive rewards encourage the person to continue using the skill. Over time this leads to meaningful behavior change. 

Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence

Understanding antecedents (what happens before a behavior occurs) and consequences (what happens after the behavior) is another important part of any ABA program.

The following three steps – the “A-B-Cs” – help us teach and understand behavior:

  1. An antecedent: this is what occurs right before the target behavior. It can be verbal, such as a command or request. It can also be physical, such a toy or object, or a light, sound, or something else in the environment. An antecedent may come from the environment, from another person, or be internal (such as a thought or feeling).
  2. A resulting behavior: this is the person’s response or lack of response to the antecedent. It can be an action, a verbal response, or something else.
  3. A consequence: this is what comes directly after the behavior. It can include positive reinforcement of the desired behavior, or no reaction for incorrect/inappropriate responses.

Looking at A-B-Cs helps us understand:

  1. Why a behavior may be happening
  2. How different consequences could affect whether the behavior is likely to happen again


  • Antecedent: The teacher says “It’s time to clean up your toys” at the end of the day.
  • Behavior: The student yells “no!”
  • Consequence: The teacher removes the toys and says “Okay, toys are all done.”

How could ABA help the student learn a more appropriate behavior in this situation?

  • Antecedent: The teacher says “time to clean up” at the end of the day.
  • Behavior: The student is reminded to ask, “Can I have 5 more minutes?”
  • Consequence: The teacher says, “Of course you can have 5 more minutes!”

With continued practice, the student will be able to replace the inappropriate behavior with one that is more helpful. This is an easier way for the student to satisfy the child’s needs!

What Does an ABA Program Involve?

Good ABA programs for autism are not "one size fits all." ABA should not be viewed as a canned set of drills. Rather, each program is written to meet the needs of the individual learner.

The goal of any ABA program is to help each person work on skills that will help them become more independent and successful in the short term as well as in the future.

Planning and Ongoing Assessment

A qualified and trained behavior analyst (BCBA) designs and directly oversees the program. They customize the ABA program to each learner's skills, needs, interests, preferences and family situation.  

The BCBA will start by doing a detailed assessment of each person’s skills and preferences. They will use this to write specific treatment goals. Family goals and preferences may be included, too.

Treatment goals are written based on the age and ability level of the person with ASD. Goals can include many different skill areas, such as:

  • Communication and language
  • Social skills
  • Self-care (such as showering and toileting)
  • Play and leisure
  • Motor skills
  • Learning and academic skills

The instruction plan breaks down each of these skills into small, concrete steps. The therapist teaches each step one by one, from simple (e.g. imitating single sounds) to more complex (e.g. carrying on a conversation).

The BCBA and therapists measure progress by collecting data in each therapy session. Data helps them to monitor the person’s progress toward goals on an ongoing basis.

The behavior analyst regularly meets with family members and program staff to review information about progress. They can then plan ahead and adjust teaching plans and goals as needed.

ABA Techniques and Philosophy

The instructor uses a variety of ABA procedures. Some are directed by the instructor and others are directed by the person with autism.

Parents, family members and caregivers receive training so they can support learning and skill practice throughout the day.

The person with autism will have many opportunities to learn and practice skills each day. This can happen in both planned and naturally occurring situations. For instance, someone learning to greet others by saying "hello" may get the chance to practice this skill in the classroom with their teacher (planned) and on the playground at recess (naturally occurring).

The learner receives an abundance of positive reinforcement for demonstrating useful skills and socially appropriate behaviors. The emphasis is on positive social interactions and enjoyable learning.

The learner receives no reinforcement for behaviors that pose harm or prevent learning.

ABA is effective for people of all ages. It can be used from early childhood through adulthood!

Who provides ABA services?

A board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) provides ABA therapy services. To become a BCBA, the following is needed:

  • Earn a master’s degree or PhD in psychology or behavior analysis
  • Pass a national certification exam
  • Seek a state license to practice (in some states)

ABA therapy programs also involve therapists, or registered behavior technicians (RBTs). These therapists are trained and supervised by the BCBA. They work directly with children and adults with autism to practice skills and work toward the individual goals written by the BCBA. You may hear them referred to by a few different names: behavioral therapists, line therapists, behavior tech, etc.

To learn more, see the Behavior Analyst Certification Board website.

What is the evidence that ABA works?

ABA is considered an evidence-based best practice treatment by the US Surgeon General and by the American Psychological Association.  

“Evidence based” means that ABA has passed scientific tests of its usefulness, quality, and effectiveness. ABA therapy includes many different techniques.  All of these techniques focus on antecedents (what happens before a behavior occurs) and on consequences (what happens after the behavior). 

More than 20 studies have established that intensive and long-term therapy using ABA principles improves outcomes for many but not all children with autism. “Intensive” and “long term” refer to programs that provide 25 to 40 hours a week of therapy for 1 to 3 years. These studies show gains in intellectual functioning, language development, daily living skills and social functioning. Studies with adults using ABA principles, though fewer in number, show similar benefits.

Is ABA covered by insurance? 

Sometimes. Many types of private health insurance are required to cover ABA services. This depends on what kind of insurance you have, and what state you live in.

All Medicaid plans must cover treatments that are medically necessary for children under the age of 21. If a doctor prescribes ABA and says it is medically necessary for your child, Medicaid must cover the cost.

Please see our insurance resources for more information about insurance and coverage for autism services. 

You can also contact the Autism Response Team if you have difficulty obtaining coverage, or need additional help.

Where do I find ABA services? 

To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Speak with your pediatrician or other medical provider about ABA. They can discuss whether ABA is right for your child. They can write a prescription for ABA if it is necessary for your insurance.
  2. Check whether your insurance company covers the cost of ABA therapy, and what your benefit is.
  3. Search our resource directory for ABA providers near you. Or, ask your child’s doctor and teachers for recommendations.
  4. Call the ABA provider and request an intake evaluation. Have some questions ready (see below!)

What questions should I ask? 

It’s important to find an ABA provider and therapists who are a good fit for your family. The first step is for therapists to establish a good relationship with your child. If your child trusts his therapists and enjoys spending time with them, therapy will be more successful – and fun!

The following questions can help you evaluate whether a provider will be a good fit for your family. Remember to trust your instincts, as well!

  1. How many BCBAs do you have on staff?
  2. Are they licensed with the BACB and through the state?
  3. How many behavioral therapists do you have?
  4. How many therapists will be working with my child?
  5. What sort of training do your therapists receive? How often?
  6. How much direct supervision do therapists receive from BCBAs weekly?
  7. How do you manage safety concerns?
  8. What does a typical ABA session look like?
  9. Do you offer home-based or clinic-based therapy?
  10. How do you determine goals for my child? Do you consider input from parents?
  11. How often do you re-evaluate goals?
  12. How is progress evaluated?
  13. How many hours per week can you provide?
  14. Do you have a wait list?
  15. What type of insurance do you accept? 
For more information

ATN/AIR-P Parent's Guide to Applied Behavior Analysis

ATN/AIR-P An Introduction to Behavioral Health Treatments

Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)

Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI)

What is ABA therapy is a behavioral science

ABA therapy is an applied branch of behavioral science. Currently, this is one of the most effective methods of correcting the behavior of children with autism and other developmental disabilities. In this approach, the intervention is based on the analysis of environmental factors that influence human behavior. We will talk about the features, tasks, possibilities and effectiveness of this technique in this article.

ABA therapy: the essence of the technique

Specialists study the patterns of behavior of all living organisms. Knowing the laws of behavior allows them to build an effective intervention based on the data received. Research in this area made it possible to create a direction called Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) , which translates as Applied Behavior Analysis. The main tenet of ABA therapy is that what happens immediately after a behavior affects whether that behavior will increase or decrease. The behavioral approach is applied to socially significant behavior, that is, one that significantly affects the quality of life of the child and his family.

1968 is considered to be the year of birth of ABA therapy as an independent scientific discipline. At this time, the first issue of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis was published. I. Lovaas studied the effectiveness of ABA therapy in children with autism and proved that with intensive training, 40% of children overcome developmental delays and by school age master various skills, including social ones, on an equal basis with their peers.

ABA Therapy techniques are currently used in individual and group work with children with autism and other disorders to reduce unwanted behavior and teach new skills. In Russia, this approach is not as well known as in the West. This is due to prejudices, such as training, which is fundamentally wrong. People almost constantly use rewards or punishments to regulate the behavior of others. Specialists who study child behavior apply a scientific approach to solve these problems, change the environment in order to change behavior. But applied behavior analysis studies behavior and deals with behavior that is important to society. Working with behavior is always based on the knowledge of its principles and laws, and they are the same for everyone! Specialists only change the environment in order to change behavior. In this sense, ABA can be called the science of "common sense".

Who is ABA therapy effective for ?

The method has been found to be very effective for working with children with special needs. At the heart of ABA therapy is the technique of reinforcing/reinforcing the desired behavior. The child is given a prize, a motivational item: a toy, candy, praise, active games, etc. Thus, specialists reinforce (reinforce) the desired behavior by teaching the child.

ABA includes both a system of hints and teaching methods, manipulations not only of consequences, but also of previous factors, stimuli in the environment, and reward modes. All this is united by scientific validity and real practical application.

How does aba therapy start when working with autists ?

First, parents consult, receive information from specialists, provide information about the child, talk about future work, clarify goals, decide whether this method is suitable for the child. Next comes testing - a mandatory process preceding therapy. During testing, the current level of the child's communicative, academic, adaptive, social skills, barriers associated with undesirable behavior, and a motivational profile are established. Next, the aba experts write the goals. Each goal is a work on a specific skill.

For example, if a test reveals that a child cannot wait to be given a motivational item, begins to exhibit undesirable behavior every time parents ask him to wait a little, the specialist sets the goal: “Will calmly wait for a motivational item or activity for a minute or wait your turn." Methods and protocol are prescribed, according to which parents or therapists (aba instructors) will work. Each protocol specifies methods and procedures, a detailed plan, and a description of how the skill will be worked on. There are several such goals. When setting goals and testing, behavioral specialists rely not only on their work experience and their competence, but primarily on diagnostic tools.

Emphasis is placed on key skills that the child needs in the first place and will allow him to continue to develop at a normal level. It is important for parents and professionals to know what a child with autism can and cannot do. This knowledge makes it possible to determine which skills need to be developed right now, which task is currently the most important. Learning a few basic skills can help you quickly achieve meaningful results in different areas of development without the use of complex teaching methods and the creation of special conditions. Working on them later will help a child with autism learn in a natural environment, gaining new experience every day.

Another feature of behavioral therapy is the collection of data. Constant recording and monitoring of results allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention, change the correction plan, protocol in time, update the training program, if the skill has been achieved, set the next goal to achieve even better results

What tasks can be solved using this technique?

Using this approach, you can solve the following problems:

  • Development of skills that can replace unwanted behaviors. For example, the purpose of the work may be to teach the child to ask for the desired object in a form accessible to him, and then he can stop screaming to get what he wants;
  • Formation of social and communication skills, such as, for example, maintaining eye contact, understanding the facial expressions of the interlocutor, the ability to ask for help from a specialist, teacher and parents, ask questions, play with others;
  • Formation of academic skills (reading, counting, writing) at a level accessible to the child;
  • Formation of everyday skills and self-care skills: independent use of the toilet, cooking and eating, distinguishing between one's own and other people's dishes, taking a shower, making one's bed, maintaining a neat appearance;
  • Generalization of skills, increasing the ability of a child with autism to demonstrate target behaviors not only in this context, but also in various other situations.

How can specialists determine the goals of the work ahead?

To determine what exactly is worth teaching a child at the moment, it is necessary to conduct a skills assessment. To do this, specialists in the applied analysis of the behavior of children with autism use various methods.

The main and most common of them:

  • ABLLS-R - a methodology for assessing basic speech and learning skills in 25 different areas of development. They can be roughly divided into basic learning skills, academic skills, self-help skills, and motor skills. ABLLS-R testing also allows you to prioritize learning objectives. The author of the technique is James Partington;
  • VB-MAPP - a methodology for assessing the skills of speech and social interaction. Based on the results of VB-MAPP testing, it is possible to determine which skills should be taught to the child in the first place, at what level of complexity it is worth starting training, what factors complicate the learning process, what form of education suits the child at the moment. The author of the methodology is Mark Sandberg;
  • PEAK is a methodology for assessing complex skills. Consists of 4 modules, each of which assesses the degree of development of 184 skills: direct learning module, generalization module, equivalence module, transformation module. The methodology allows for the assessment of skills beyond the basic level. It is effective for diagnosing both children and adolescents and adults with autism. Written by Mark R. Dixon;
  • AFLS - a method for assessing the development of functional life skills: basic, everyday, social behavior skills. Written by James Partington and Michael Muller;
  • Essential for Living Life Skills Assessment. Suitable for children and adults with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. Authors: Patrick McGreevy, Troy Fry & Coleen Cornwall.

How do you work with children?

Learning new skills can take many forms e:

  • Block learning is Aba's most popular method. A behavioral skill is broken down into individual steps that are practiced with a large number of repetitions. Each block consists of providing a stimulus, prompting, if necessary, a child's response, rewarding a correct response, or a procedure for correcting an error in case of an incorrect response. The session takes place at a table or on the floor. The specialist gives instructions, if necessary, provides hints (this is a separate art), encourages the right reaction. For example, he puts it in front of the child, asks him to show the ball, helps physically. To do this, he puts his hand on top of the child’s hand and pulls his hand towards the ball, helping to form a pointing gesture. Then the child is rewarded for the correct reaction with a hint. The hint is then removed or lowered.
  • Also popular in ABA therapy is the Chaining training technique. This technique is used for complex tasks consisting of a long sequence of actions. To do this, you need to divide a complex task into simpler ones, and then write down all the steps in a checklist. For example, for the “wash your hands” chain, the links might be: turn on the faucet, roll up your sleeves, wet your hands, take soap, lather your hands, rinse the soap, turn off the faucet, use a towel. After compiling a checklist with prescribed steps, the hint is systematically reduced at each link in the chain. You can lower the prompt from the end or at the beginning, or depending on the presence of independent reactions, each step has its own hierarchy of pre-thought out prompts. The hint level is fixed in the checklist.
  • Learning in the natural environment is a form of learning in which skills are practiced in class in the environment in which the child lives. These can be the skills of requesting motivational stimuli using the functions and characteristics of an object, prepositions for indicating the location of an object, and other skills. The task of the teacher in applying this procedure is to notice or provoke the initiative of the child and use it for learning. This method is ideal for teaching communication, asking, taking initiative. To do this, the adult adjusts to the actual needs of the child, provides hints when the child has taken the initiative to do something. For example, if a child loves apples, you can put this fruit on the table so that the child cannot take it himself, but sees it. Further, when he wants to take it, you need to give a full verbal prompt “apple”, provide the child with what he wants. Hints in the methodology must be systematically and consistently removed.

In general, the prompting system can be described as a separate tool in aba therapy. They must be given with the expectation that they can be removed without hindrance

in the future, without spoiling the existing skill. Tips should be controlling, sufficient for the child to give the desired reaction after them. But at the same time, it is necessary to ensure that there is no dependence on prompts.

  • Mixed blocks - a format in which teaching new skills alternates with the repetition of already learned material. For the convenience of a specialist, each instruction is written on a card of a certain color, each area has its own color. The specialist forms a deck of cards with tasks that the child is already completing and adds several cards with target tasks. Training most often takes place in the process of studying at the table, at a fast pace;
  • Obstacle course - an adult or a child, with the help of a specialist, builds an obstacle course from mats, paths, stairs, etc. At the end of each obstacle, a task awaits the child, for example, naming cards, reading, puzzles, and so on;
  • Game - an adult with a child in the lesson play a certain plot familiar to the child. In this format, you can master and update skills such as echo imitation, requests, motor imitation, and others.

There are many more methods of working with skills and behavior, trainings, hint systems. For a complete immersion in the subject, we recommend contacting a specialist and referring to the literature, for example, the well-known book in their circles by Cooper, John O. “Applied Behavior Analysis”.

Function-Based Behavior Correction

In addition to teaching children new skills, ABA therapy deals with the correction of unwanted behavior based on four functions. The function of behavior is what the child wants to get by behaving in a certain way. She points to the source of his reinforcements.

The following behavioral functions are distinguished:

  • Attracting attention . The behavior of the child, the purpose of which is social attention, is aimed at causing some kind of reaction in the adult, not necessarily positive. For example, a child can drag a cat by the tail and rejoice when parents swear, or shout loudly in class and watch the reaction of others.
  • Access to desired . This behavior is aimed at obtaining the desired item or activity. For example, every time a child screams loudly, parents give him candy. To get the same result next time, the child will scream again.
  • Avoidance. The purpose of this behavior is to avoid performing a task or other unpleasant activity. For example, when a demand is made, the child does not work, but beats himself, and, accordingly, the start of the task is delayed.
  • Sensory stimulation. This behavior is aimed at obtaining pleasant sensory experiences. For example, the child sways on the bed or hangs upside down.

The definition of a behavior function consists of several steps:

  1. At the initial stage of ABA , specialists collect already known information about the child's behavior. There is a conversation with parents, questionnaires, the use of rating scales, a survey and reports of teachers who work with the child. It is important to know when the behavior occurs, how long it lasts, what it looks like, whether there has been a recent deterioration, what usually triggers it, and how parents react to the problem behavior in the child, what the child gets by behaving in one way or another.
  2. The second task of the specialist is direct observation of behavior. At this stage, additional, more objective data are being collected

ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis)

Today, one of the most effective methods of correcting autism is behavioral therapy or ABA (Applied behavior analysis).

ABA Therapy is an intensive training program based on behavioral technologies and teaching methods. ABA as a scientific discipline studies the influence of factors in the environment on behavior and manipulates these factors in order to change human behavior.

The ABA method for working with children with autism was first used by Dr. Ivar Lovaas and colleagues at UCLA in 1963. The idea was taken as a basis that any behavior entails some consequences, and if the child likes the consequences, he will repeat this behavior, and if he does not like it, he will not.

With this approach, all complex skills, including speech, creative play, the ability to look into the eyes and others, are divided into small blocks - actions. Each action is learned with the child separately, then the actions are connected in a chain, forming a complex action. The adult does not try to give the initiative to the child, but quite rigidly manages his activities. Correct actions are fixed to automatism, wrong ones are strictly suppressed. To achieve the desired behavior, cues and incentives, both positive and negative, are used. A skill is considered fixed only when the child can perform this action without errors in 80 percent of situations, regardless of the atmosphere in which and by whom the task was given.

Within the framework of the ABA training program, the child is always led, his freedom and initiative are limited by the choice of the teaching adult. An individual development plan is drawn up for each child. A child can master two or three unrelated skills at the same time, the teacher builds a clear system of complication and gradual mastering of more and more new skills.

The ultimate goal of ABA is to give the child the means to explore the world around them on their own.

ABA has several hundred programs in its arsenal, including non-verbal and verbal imitation, general and fine motor skills, language understanding, naming objects, naming actions, classifying objects, "show how you are ...", pronouns, answers to questions "What? ", "Who?", "Where?", "When?", "How?", the use of "yes" and "no", and others. Among the higher-level programs are "Tell me what will happen if ..." (anticipates the outcome of the action), "Tell a story", "Do like (peer name)", "Call (peer name) to play."

There are several therapeutic models in ABA therapy, designed for early childhood (from 1.5-3.5 years), preschool and school age, adolescents and adults.

At an early age, the correction of undesirable behavior is most effective, since such behavior has not yet had time to consolidate, and it is easier for an adult to cope with a child in case of directed aggression or self-aggression of a child with autism.

The early intervention program should be intensive, 30 to 40 hours a week, so that the child can learn the necessary behavioral skills and overcome the developmental delay.

The ABA specialist first identifies the child's behavioral problem, then "measures" (studies and observes the behavior), which results in an assessment and development of a learning strategy ("intervention").

During the ABA training, several specialists of various specializations work with the child every day (a defectologist in behavioral skills, a music therapist, an art therapist), and the supervision is carried out by a supervisor - a specialist in the methodology. Specialists consistently work with the child for two to three hours (doing five to six programs during this time), two or three specialists can consistently work with the child during one day, and the child receives five to six hours a day. All actions on the programs are recorded in the general journal of work with the child, coordinating the actions of specialists.

ABA can be done at home, in an educational institution, in a children's club. Classes can be individual and group - in small groups (two or three people) and large (five to ten people).

The number of hours in the study program may vary depending on the needs and possibilities. The average number of hours in the ABA program is 20 hours per week. The minimum number of hours in an ABA program is six hours per week, the maximum is 40.

It is important that the child's parents be an integral part of the child's team, educate the child on the basis of behavioral learning principles and help him generalize all the skills he has learned in program.

For children of preschool age, regardless of the level of development of skills, training in the system of special education is recommended. Homeschooling can be a limited environment in which a child cannot learn important skills such as being in a peer group, learning in a group, interacting with different people.

Learn more