About ABA Therapy

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the leading approach to improving the developmental deficiencies associated with autism.  ABA therapy is likely to be the very best approach to your child’s development.

The goal of our ABA therapy centers is to help your child reach their highest potential.  ABA therapy is the right approach for many children to achieve their specific goals.

Endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General, ABA therapy focuses on human behavior and can increase desirable behaviors and minimize unwanted behaviors.  For children, desirable behaviors may include verbal communication about their desires, preferences, or needs.

Action Behavior’s therapists implement ABA therapy in all of our locations through intensive one-on-one sessions that focus on the specific developmental needs of each child.  The Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) will conduct an in-depth assessment of your child’s abilities and needs at the beginning of the therapy process.  The areas that need development, whether they be few or many, will be addressed through individualized behavior programs and individual lessons.  Each lesson is implemented by a behavior therapist and focused on a specific skill.  Through this systematic and focused approach, children with significant developmental deficiencies can make significant strides.

Does ABA Therapy Work for Autism?

Simple answer:  Yes.

More complex answer:  Every child is different, and some children might show more significant gains than others. Key studies have shown that some children with autism receiving two or more years of intensive behavioral intervention have been virtually indistinguishable from their peers.  There are hundreds of studies supporting the effectiveness of ABA therapy, and federal and state agencies, as well as insurance companies, cover this therapy.

What Skills are Targeted by an ABA Therapy Program?

The focus will depend on the specific needs of your child, but frequent skill targets include:

  • Toilet training
  • Adaptive living skills (feeding, dressing, bathing)
  • Receptive language (following directions, selecting objects)
  • Expressive language (labeling objects, people, emotions)
  • Play and leisure skills (playing with toys, expanding beyond electronics!)
  • Social skills (initiating conversation, responding to questions from peers, interactive play)
  • Ready-to-learn behaviors (sitting in a chair at table or desk, looking at instructor)

What Does a Typical Day of ABA Therapy Look Like?

Action Behavior believes that we can achieve the greatest gains with early learners that need intensive interventions.  Many of our clients are 2 to 6 years old, although we have children outside this range.

  • In the morning, each child is taken to our clinic by parents and meets the assigned therapist in our lobby room during the check-in procedure.
  • Therapists welcome each child and head to the assigned room or play area where the first therapy session will be conducted.  Each session lasts for 2 hours, during which multiple skills will be addressed and improved.  A typical session may include developing the child’s ability to request a toy, matching pictures or objects, following instructions on cleaning up, and learning how to wash hands after snack time.
  • During the entire session, therapists will collect data to track how often the child accomplishes a therapy goal.  A child’s “baseline” figure indicates the initial level of success with the desired goal – for instance, children may start at a 20% success rate with responding to their name.  Through repetitive sessions that include different instruction methods, skill acquisition may increase to 30%, then 50%, then jump to 80%.
  • Every 2 hours the child will “rotate” to one of the 4-5 therapists on the child’s therapy team in order to maximize skill generalization (applicability of skills outside the clinic).
  • Every 3 to 6 months, a follow-up assessment will be conducted to serve as a more formal update on the child’s progress.  Combined with daily therapy data, our approach to ABA therapy provides real, measurable results for parents, caregivers, doctors, and insurance companies.
  • At the end of each day, parents will pick up their child at their designated time.  IDs will be checked and filed for any person picking up who is not a parent.

Does ABA Therapy Mean My Child is Stuck at a Table All Day Repeating the Same Tasks?

While sitting still at a table may be a developmental goal for some children, it certainly isn’t the only one!  There are hundreds or thousands of skills that every child needs to develop, and many of them are much more fluid and active.  Learning a task through repetitive attempts or “discrete trial training” is an important part of how certain skills are learned. However, ABA therapy ensures children will develop a real-world set of skills, and “natural environment training” is a key part of our approach.  They will likely be on the ground playing, running around our jungle gym area, having a snack or meal in our lunchroom, playing with a new toy, and learning critical skills through repetitive methods.  There is a huge variety of skills and methods used in ABA.

How Expensive is ABA Therapy?

ABA therapy is covered by virtually all private health insurance plans.  Health insurance can be complicated, and we are happy to help you understand what coverage you have and recommend the smartest path for your family.

Your health insurance has a deductible (the amount you must pay each year before the insurance pays anything), co-insurance (the amount that you AND the insurance carrier pay in some pre-determined ratio), and an out-of-pocket maximum (your maximum financial outlay for the year).

Action Behavior Centers is in-network with the largest health insurers in Texas, Arizona and Colorado.  We’ll navigate the process for you to make sure you have the coverage you need.  Our staff will walk you through each step and do most of the heavy lifting for you!

Learn more about Insurance Funding.

How are Parents Involved?

While our programs are generally full-time during the week, one thing is clear:  you are the most important element of your child’s development, and we need you as a partner in our work.

Parent training is one of the secrets of success to help children achieve their developmental milestones the fastest, and most insurance companies now require that at least 2-3 hours per month are dedicated to teaching parents how to apply behavior analysis principles at home.  When we achieve improvement in a child’s behavior at the clinic, we rely on our parents to sustain and advance the goal!

What Do I Do Next?

If your child already has a diagnosis of Autism / Autism Spectrum Disorder and you are interested in getting started with enrollment, please complete our brief New Client Application or contact us.

If your child has many of the potential signs of autism (read about them here) but does not have a diagnosis, please complete the M-CHAT Autism Screening Tool provided on our website.