Guide to ABA Therapy: What Is It, Costs, Pros & Cons

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Our son is only 5, but he has shown signs of autism in his first year. Our pediatrician recommended ABA therapy as a way to try and help him develop social skills – the sooner we start, the better! Here’s everything you need to know about ABA therapy including what it is, costs and pros & cons.

The “pros and cons of being an aba therapist” is a guide to ABA Therapy. It discusses what it is, costs, pros, and cons.


There is no cure for autism spectrum illness (ASD). However, there are treatments that have been shown to assist children with ASD flourish in their daily lives. One of the most often utilized techniques to treat autism is applied behavior analysis (ABA).

The purpose of ABA treatment is to change behavior. Families often concentrate on complicated behaviors.

A behavioral technician breaks things down into little parts rather than requiring a youngster to master a multi-step procedure in one session. The youngster learns how to perform each step via repetition. The youngster learns to deal with a complicated behavior in a new manner over time.

Despite some contradictory views on the treatment, current ABA may be interesting and even enjoyable for children. Because rigorous therapy is often required, it may be costly, although insurance can generally pay a significant portion of the expense.

Repetition is a powerful tool for changing behavior.

Modern life is full with seemingly easy chores that are really challenging for persons with autism to do. For example, staying sitting in a classroom, walking quietly through a grocery store, or sleeping through the night without wetting the bed might be difficult for children with ASD.

The goal of ABA is to teach persons with autism how to approach and overcome ordinary activities. According to experts, the treatment may effectively:

  • Reduce the number of bad behaviors. Tantrums, self-harming, and shouting might all be addressed in therapy.

Each kid with autism is unique, and treatment outcomes may differ. Families, on the other hand, often speak well about ABA. One parent told a local news station that the treatment his children received cut the duration of their tantrums in half, from 45 minutes to only 2 minutes.

What Is ABA and How Does It Work?

ABA is a kind of treatment that is quite intense. It is most effective when youngsters spend roughly 20 hours per week practicing with a behavioral technician.

In the end, technicians aim to promote or discourage certain behaviors, depending on whether they are good or undesirable.

Each session is unique, yet the majority follow a logical and predictable pattern. The following activities are included in the sessions:

  • Rewards. According to Autism Speaks, significant incentives show each time the youngster completes the activity successfully. Praise, a toy, literature, and playground access are all frequent incentives.

  • Observations. According to Autism Canada, therapists seek for triggers that prevent a kid from completing a job. A youngster may shut down, act out, or both as a result of a loud noise, a congested environment, hunger, or weariness.

Homework may be used to rehearse therapeutic pieces. Parents may be encouraged to utilize specific requests (“Please sit down.”) in response to a trigger by technicians (a stranger at the door). It’s best if a youngster can practice the behaviors as much as possible.

What Does an ABA Session Typically Look Like?

Consider a student who struggles to remain sitting in class. This is an especially challenging and complicated undertaking for a youngster with a lot of energy and minimal linguistic abilities. This has been acknowledged as a therapeutic objective by the family.

The following is an example of a session:

  • Explanation: The technician reveals the number of steps ahead by stating something like, “I have five distinct things to share with you, and we’ll speak about them.” I’ve got five grapes on my hands. We’ll eat a grape every time I contribute anything.” The youngster seems unconcerned about what may occur next.

  • The work starts as soon as the technician opens the package. The order is repeated each time the youngster gets out of the chair.

  • The conclusion: The team takes a break after discussing all five things. They may go on a lap around the yard, get a snack, or use the lavatory.

This may seem to be a straightforward series of a youngster answering questions. That same youngster, on the other hand, is learning that remaining in their chair results in positive outcomes. The game ends when you get out of your chair, and there is no playtime break.

Even if the youngster has something more exciting to do at school, recollections of this session may persuade the child to remain seated.

It’s crucial to practice these teachings over and over again to ensure that they stay.

The ABA of Today Is Not Like the ABA of the Past

For decades, ABA has been an element of the ASD therapy repertoire. There are significant supporters and skeptics of the therapy, as with other therapies.

While the majority of experts agree that ABA is useful for children with ASD, others argue that it has a limited role in today’s society. While some individuals may not benefit from ABA, like with any treatment, many of the critiques of the program are based on outdated facts.

The following are often cited by critics:

  • The founder of the American Bar Association. According to opponents, the inventor of ABA made a number of problematic remarks concerning persons with autism spectrum condition. He spoke about his patients as if they weren’t human, and his purpose was to help them fit in, even if it meant harming them.

  • Modern practitioners have expanded on the principles of the originator of ABA. They’ve created something wholly fresh in many aspects.

  • Therapists still aim to assist their clients in achieving success in today’s society. They want their customers to be able to live independently, and their work seeks to help them do so.

  • These therapists, on the other hand, make exceptions. They do not cast judgment on the families with whom they work, nor do they indicate that neurotypical persons are in any way superior. Rather, they seek to alleviate suffering.

  • Punishment. Earlier versions of ABA treatment placed a greater emphasis on punishment than on reward. If a youngster refused to finish a chore, they were penalized for it.

  • Modern treatment places a strong emphasis on incentives. If a youngster chooses to complete a task, they are rewarded with something significant to them.

  • Boredom. ABA sessions, according to critics, may be monotonous, with children being forced to perform the same activity over and again.

  • Modern therapists are taught to be dynamic, engaging, and entertaining, according to experts. They seek for methods to make teaching more like games so that youngsters would be more inclined to engage. Although the stages may be repeated, the lectures should not get monotonous.

ABA treatment isn’t for everyone, despite progress, and that’s great. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment that will work for every family and scenario. However, families looking for alternatives should be aware that some of the complaints they hear are based on an outdated view of an ancient style of treatment.

How much does ABA set you back?

Applied behavior analysis treatment is administered by trained therapists and technologists. Treatment prices reflect the education and skills required to offer effective treatment. ABA is extremely time-consuming, and families often need several hours of support.

The expense of ABA therapy is driven up by these two considerations.

According to experts, an hour of ABA treatment from a skilled practitioner costs roughly $120. If your family need 20 hours of care each week, the total expense may soon mount.

Insurance may be of assistance. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 46 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation requiring autism treatment to be covered by insurance.

However, such regulations may not cover all costs for families. Some insurance policies don’t cover ABA, so families may have to attempt less intensive kinds of treatment before getting the aid they need. Other plans require families to pay large deductibles and copayments.

Families should consider cost while choosing treatment, but it should not be the primary consideration. ABA is the best road ahead for many youngsters with autism. Families may have to work hard to get coverage, but it’s worth it.

Locate the Most Appropriate Professional for Your Child

For a youngster with ASD, ABA seems to be a simple therapeutic option. In actuality, there are several forms of ABA, and each therapist may interpret the rules differently.

According to experts, the variety of ABA styles might be bewildering for parents. They may feel compelled to choose one over the other. They may not even know where to go for information.

In your quest for the best specialist for your kid, make sure to inquire about the following:

Be persistent and don’t be scared to ask questions. This is a crucial choice since your kid will spend a lot of time with this individual.

According to research, ABA treatment is the most effective method for reducing troublesome behaviors and improving adaptive skills in children with autism. Finding the appropriate ABA expert for your kid may take some time, but it is well worth the effort.


ABA therapy is an autism treatment that can be beneficial for children. However, it has been known to cause harm as well. Reference: why is aba therapy harmful.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the pros and cons of ABA therapy?

A: Pro-best proven technique for helping children who are not progressing academically. Con-time consuming, requires professional therapy to implement the program properly.

What are the benefits of ABA therapy?

A: ABA therapy is a type of treatment that uses the principles of applied behavior analysis. It has been shown to be effective in treating children with autism, and it can also be used on other developmental disabilities such as ADHD or dyslexia.

How do people afford ABA therapy?

A: Many people use an insurance program like Medicaid or Medicare to pay for ABA therapy.

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