Center-Based vs. Home-Based ABA Therapy

40 hours of therapy per week in an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) center might sound intimidating at first. A few hours of in-home therapy may seem like the more convenient option, but plenty of research has shown that intensive center-based ABA therapy provides better outcomes for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

In a 2011 study, researchers compared the effectiveness of center-based early intervention therapy, home-based therapy, and a non-treatment control group over the course of a year. The effectiveness of the programs was measured based on child outcomes in social and communication skills, as well as quality of life and stress levels for parents.

According to the research findings, children in the center-based therapy group improved their social and communication skills significantly more than those in the home-based and non-treatment groups. This is largely due to the fact that the children are able to thrive in a social environment with other kids in the center. Center-based ABA therapy familiarizes children with a more school-like environment, helping to build the necessary skills to be mainstreamed into neurotypical classrooms.

Parents of center-based children also benefited more than those with children in the home-based group. Center-based programs tend to offer a more structured parent training program. Therefore, the researchers suggest that center-based therapy is more effective in increasing parental resilience and satisfaction with disability support.

In conclusion, center-based therapy programs for autism tend to be better overall for both children and parents than home-based programs. With a daily schedule structured more like a typical school day, as well as more opportunity for social interaction and generalization of skills, center-based therapy offers a more well-rounded path to success.

Action Behavior Centers aim to provide the best possible quality of center-based ABA therapy for children on the Spectrum. If you’re interested in starting center-based ABA therapy for your child, our New Client Application form can be found here. Filling out the form indicates interest in our services with no obligation.

Our administrative team is also happy to answer any questions you might have – contact us at whichever center location is most convenient for you.