Center-Based vs. Home-Based ABA Therapy

The thought of sending your child off for 40 hours of therapy per week in an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) center can sound intimidating at first. We get it. An at-home ABA therapist might seem like the more convenient option, but research shows that center-based therapy provides better outcomes for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) than home-based therapy.

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.

The researchers reported that parents of center-based children also benefited more than those with children in the home-based group. Center-based programs offer parent training while parental education in home-based programs tends to be less structured. Due to this, the researchers suggest that center-based therapy is more effective in increasing parental resilience and satisfaction with disability support.

The authors conclude that center-based therapy programs for ASD tend to be better overall for both children and parents than home-based programs.

Action Behavior Centers strive to provide the best possible center-based ABA therapy experience for children on the Spectrum. Our 6,000 square-foot facility features individual rooms for one-on-one therapy, a large play space with a jungle gym, and a spacious lunch room. We’d love for you to come in for a tour — we can be reached at (512) 572-0157.

If you’re already interested in starting center-based ABA therapy for your child, our New Client Application form can be found here. Filling out the form simply indicates interest in our services with no obligation.