Guide: The Parent’s Role in ABA Therapy (Do’s and Don’ts)

Photo of author


Posted On

The ABA therapy process is a highly effective tool for children with autism. Parents play an important role, but only by following these guidelines can they ensure their child’s success in the program.

The “aba parent training materials pdf” is a guide that will teach parents how to be an effective part of the ABA therapy process. The guide includes do’s and don’ts for parents to follow.


Every parent wants to see their children prosper. Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may, however, confront unique difficulties. What is the most effective approach to assist? What are the steps that are harmful?

One of the most effective strategies to assist your kid is to use applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment. This treatment has been demonstrated to increase autistic children’s abilities and minimize troublesome behaviors, preparing them for life success.

In ABA treatment, parents play a crucial role. In fact, you may continue the teachings and work with your kid after your therapist leaves for the day.

Don’t worry, you’ll be given instruction before you begin. However, you may learn some important dos and don’ts before the job starts so that you can assist without causing injury.

What are your responsibilities?

ABA therapy isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to ASD treatment. You can’t just hand your kid over to a registered behavior technician (RBT) and hope for the best. You have a say in how treatment proceeds and how effectively it works as a parent.

Parents are part of an ABA caregiving team, according to Autism Speaks. You collaborate with therapists and physicians to:

  • Examine your youngster. You assist in the detection of problematic behaviour. You offer context for the activity.

  • Make a strategy. You describe how your kid learns best. You assist in the setting of treatment objectives and describe how treatments might enhance your family’s quality of life.

  • Gather facts and figures. You keep track of your child’s growth and share that information with the team in meetings.

There are a lot of stages here, and it’s easy to become discouraged. Keep in mind that your job is crucial, and you’ll get assistance along the process.

According to studies, children learn more quickly when their parents are active. They apply what they’ve learned in one situation to another. Parents also increase the amount of learning time available to their children.

All of these details are important. Children profit more when their parents assist them.

Practice Sessions at Home

Your youngster is always learning and developing. Use this to your advantage and use ABA classes at home when your RBT isn’t available.

Parents, according to experts, may be the finest instructors, particularly if their children need to learn ABA ideas. Parents, on the other hand, often need to learn as well. Keep an eye on your child’s sessions with the treatment team and think about the following:

  • Your abilities. What are the things that the team is doing with your kid that you want to emulate? An RBT, for example, could be OK with repeating a lesson 10 to 15 times, but you don’t think you’re patient. How would you go about honing that skill?

  • Your own taste. What methods are they using that you haven’t considered? Are they, for example, utilizing smiles instead of food as reinforcers?

  • It’s your life. Throughout the day, we all face challenges. When would you find it difficult to put these ideas into practice? If you know you’re not at your best late at night, for example, skipping nighttime courses could be a good idea.

The RBT for your kid will teach you about ABA ideas. You’ll know what behavior is being addressed in treatment, and you’ll have a step-by-step strategy for reinforcing it. Your task may seem to an observer to be a game or an easy discussion.

You might, for example, reinforce ABA ideas by:

  • Conversation. Give your youngster a bowl but not a spoon when it’s time to eat. Before you hand over the spoon, encourage your youngster to ask for it.

  • Cognition. Before your kid puts on their clothing, ask them to identify the color. Before they help you feed your cats, have them tell you their names.

  • Modeling. Use your hands to tell the tale if you’ve asked your youngster to do something but the prompt is unclear. For example, take your child’s hands in yours and put them on the plate to hoist it into the cabinet.

  • Rewards. You give your kid a command, and he or she quickly executes it. It’s time for a grin, a snack, or a hug. The more times your youngster sees an activity followed by a reward in a short period of time, the better.

  • Chaining. Some complicated jobs are difficult for children to comprehend. Experts advise using a visual aid such as a chart or a map to connect them. Using more than words, explain how one step leads to the next.

Keep note of your child’s replies and distribute the work throughout the day. It may be simple for you to do a job at home, but the youngster may struggle elsewhere. This kind of feedback is crucial for the team as you map your future actions.

Talk it over with your team if things don’t go as planned. Roadblocks are to be anticipated when you’re all learning and developing together. You can work together to develop answers.

Don’ts for Parents in ABA Therapy

The foundation of ABA treatment is the notion of incentives. Positive rewards follow good judgments. There are no penalties necessary.

During treatment, parents sometimes make bad decisions that make learning difficult. Everyone makes errors, but the more you understand about poor decisions, the less likely you are to make them.

The following are examples of poor ABA decisions made by parents:

  • Leaving appointments unattended. ABA is a kind of treatment that is quite intense. According to Autism Speaks, children may spend 25 to 40 hours per week in treatment for one to three years. You may have other things to do or places to go, but missing an appointment means denying a kid the chance to learn.

    If your kid misses too many visits, they may lose the gains they’ve made. Don’t miss appointments if you want to get the best outcomes.

  • Punishment is being used. When their children refuse to do what they are taught during treatment, frustrated parents may use harsh words or even violent actions. This sort of reaction is unhelpful and may cause major harm to your kid. If you get upset or furious during a session, stop and resume later. 

  • Personal opinions are imposed. ABA therapists and technicians are highly trained professionals who have spent years learning their craft. They know how to use best practices to implement the treatment. Some of these actions may be unusual for parents, and they may intervene to end sessions. A youngster learning a difficult lesson, for example, may be unable to speak out and may weep. That signal may be used by a technician to pivot and adjust the approach. If a parent interrupts the session as soon as the first tear occurs, the lesson will be lost. 

Do’s and Don’ts in ABA Therapy for Parents

You have a lot of wonderful options when it comes to ABA treatment. You may help your kid by doing the following:

  • Attending a training session. Experts argue that parent training provides you practical skills to use when you detect troubling behaviour. You will understand and communicate with your kid better the more you utilize those tools. You’ll be more self-assured as well.

  • Watching is a great way to learn. Attend ABA treatment sessions and keep a careful eye on the therapist. You could pick up a suggestion or two that you can implement in your house that you hadn’t considered before.

  • Practicing all over the place. Is your youngster content and engaged at home but anxious in public? You won’t be able to solve this problem overnight, but you can assist your youngster practice in little increments. For example, in your yard, you may practice ABA skills. Alternatively, while sitting in the driveway, have a chat with your youngster in the vehicle. Look for opportunities to use the skills you’re learning in as many different situations as possible.

  • Finding a happy medium. As you learn more about ABA, your views about your kid may change. Look for methods to honor your child’s originality and uniqueness while staying focused on helping him or her flourish in the world outside your front door.

  • Maintaining long-term engagement. ABA treatment is intensive, yet it takes a long time. You may see subtle changes in your kid, which is something to be proud of. But don’t be disheartened if you don’t notice the big changes you were hoping for. Continue to work and progress, and your kid will follow suit.

This isn’t an entire list of dos and don’ts. Your child’s treatment team may be able to provide you with detailed feedback on your choices and possibilities. However, this list might help you get started on ways to be the most helpful part of your child’s team possible.


The “do parents participate in aba therapy” is a guide that will help parents understand their role in ABA Therapy. The article includes do’s and don’ts for the parent to follow.

Related Tags

  • parent involvement in aba therapy
  • helping parents understand applied behavior analysis: creating a parent guide in 10 steps
  • what do parents do during aba therapy
  • why is parent training important in aba
  • aba strategies for parents