Understanding How ABA Therapy Works | Steps to Progress

Understanding How ABA Therapy Works

Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder may have heard the term “Applied Behavior Analysis” or “ABA Therapy,” but may not be familiar with the practice of ABA Therapy. If your child was recently diagnosed with autism you may wonder how ABA Therapy could benefit your child.

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ABA Therapy focuses on helping children with the core issue areas that are the basis of an autism diagnosis; difficulties in social interaction, communication, and behavior regulation. The goal of ABA is to improve the child’s communication skills, social skills, and behaviors. The following is the process that is followed when ABA Therapy begins:

Initial Assessment

In the first step of the process, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) will meet with the child and the child’s parents to conduct a formal assessment of skills. First, the BCBA will visit with the parents to learn more about the child’s strengths and weaknesses and will observe the child. The BCBA will then
conduct the formal assessment, which will help to determine the areas in which the child needs additional help.

Treatment Plan Development

After the assessment has been completed the BCBA will create a treatment plan for the child. The plan will be customized to the specific needs of the child. It will include attainable targets and goals as well as the interventions to be used and weekly hours of therapy needed to help achieve those goals.

Therapy Sessions

Therapy sessions will begin after the treatment plan has been approved by the insurance company. Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) will run programs to help the child learn new skills, with lots of positive reinforcement as a part of the process. Therapy sessions will also include breaks for fun
activities, which provide additional opportunities for skill development. RBTs will take data and write notes for each session so that the BCBA can monitor the child’s progress. The BCBA will also directly supervise a portion of the therapy sessions and will always be available for support.

Parent Involvement

ABA Therapy relies on parents and caregivers to participate in weekly parent training sessions and learn the techniques to help reinforce learned skills at home. While our RBTs can get to know the child and teach new skills, those skills have to be strengthened to have lasting results. The child’s BCBA will work with parents to teach strategies to use with their child both while at home and out in the community.

Continuing Improvements

The BCBA will evaluate the child’s progress and modify programs on an ongoing basis so that the child can continue to make progress. Since no child with autism is the same, the specific programs and reinforcements may differ among different children. At Steps to Progress, we make every effort to customize our therapy to help each child reach their potential.

Get in touch with us for more information.