3 FAQ About ABA Therapy

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a type of therapy that strives to improve or change certain behaviors. Also known as behavioral engineering, ABA therapy is commonly used to help those who are on the autism spectrum disorder. Common behaviors associated with autism include difficulty with social interactions, doing or saying the same thing repeatedly, and having obsessive interests.

If you would like to know more, here are the answers to 3 frequently asked questions about ABA therapy.

1. Who Provides ABA Therapy?

The following professionals have special training and education in different types of behavioral therapies, including ABA.

These professionals include:

  • ABA Therapist. Uses positive reinforcement to increase preferable behaviors and improve skills that are lacking.
  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Has specific training in applied behavioral analysis and primarily works with autistic students.
  • Advanced Certified Autism Specialist (ACAS). Those who already have a certified autism specialist can receive advanced training to become an ACAS and provide ABA therapy.

These professionals work in a variety of environments including the home, schools, outpatient clinics, and independently.

2. What Are the Goals of ABA Therapy?

The goal of ABA therapy primarily depends upon the person receiving it. No child with autism or other types of behaviors is exactly alike. For this reason, ABA therapy is modified specifically for each individual. The goals are also dependent upon the type of skills the autistic person lacks or areas in which they need the most help.

In general, some of the primary goals of ABA therapy include:

  • Show more interest in people around them.
  • Communicate with others more effectively.
  • Stop self-harming behaviors.
  • Have more focus at school.
  • Have fewer tantrums or outbursts.

Another goal of ABA therapy for many people with autism is to communicate their wants and needs more effectively.

3. How Much Does ABA Therapy Cost?

For a child on the autism spectrum, ABA therapy costs about $17,000 a year. However, some people have paid anywhere from $45,000 to $100,000 a year for this type of therapy. Many insurance companies cover ABA therapy. However, some insurance plans only cover it until the child reaches 18. One of the reasons this therapy is so expensive is that there are not enough qualified professionals to meet the high demand.

For those who cannot afford to pay for it, their child may be able to receive ABA therapy for free in a publicly funded school. Some ABA providers have a sliding fee for low-income families and private social service agencies might also offer this therapy at a low cost, or for free.

If you have more questions about ABA therapy, talk to your local counseling service today.