What Does an ABA Therapist Do?

Photo of author


Posted On

An ABA therapist is a professional who works with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities to improve their quality of life.

Checkout this video:

Job Description

An ABA therapist works with children who have autism to help them improve their social and communication skills. They work with the child one-on-one or in small groups. ABA therapists use various techniques to teach the child new skills. They also help the child learn how to generalize the skills they have learned to new people and new situations.

What is ABA?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific discipline concerned with applying techniques based on the principles of learning to change behavior of social significance. It is the process of using environmental influences to produce meaningful and positive change in behavior. ABA uses many different techniques to bring about these changes in behavior.

What is the goal of ABA therapy?

The goal of ABA therapy is to help children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) learn new skills and reduce problem behaviors. ABA therapy is based on the principle that behaviors can be changed through a process of reinforcement or punishment. ABA therapists use a variety of techniques to help children with ASD learn new skills and reduce problem behaviors.

What are the techniques used in ABA therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is a type of therapy that is based on the science of learning and behavior. ABA therapy is used to help children with autism learn new skills and reduce problem behaviors. ABA therapy has been proven to be an effective treatment for autism.

There are three main techniques that are used in ABA therapy positive reinforcement, shaping, and chaining.

Positive reinforcement is when a child is rewarded for demonstrating a desired behavior. The child learns that they will get something they want if they display the desired behavior. Common rewards include praise, stickers, and small toys.

Shaping is when a child is gradually taught how to perform a desired behavior by first being rewarded for displaying behaviors that are similar to the desired behavior. For example, a child may be taught to wave “hello” by first being rewarded for reaching out their hand, then for moving their hand back and forth, and finally for waving their hand.

Chaining is when a child is taught to perform a series of behaviors in order by first being rewards for displaying the first behavior in the series. For example, a child may be taught to brush their teeth by first being rewarded for getting the toothbrush, then for putting toothpaste on the toothbrush, then for putting the toothbrush in their mouth, and finally for brushing their teeth.

ABA Therapist’s Role

An ABA therapist is responsible for designing and implementing behavior-change programs for patients with developmental disabilities. They also collaborate with other team members to develop individualized treatment plans. ABA therapists use positive reinforcement to encourage desired behaviors and discourage negative behaviors.

Conducting assessments

Initial ABA evaluations usually involve a review of the individual’s records, such as developmental evaluations, educational evaluations, and psychological evaluations. In addition, the ABA therapist observes the individual in different settings, such as the home, school, and community. They also interview key people in the individual’s life to get information about skills and behavior. Based on all of this information, the ABA therapist develops a hypothesis about what is maintaining the individual’s problem behavior. From there, they develop a treatment plan with specific goals and objectives.

Developing individualized treatment plans

An ABA therapist’s job is to create an individualized treatment plan for each child they work with. This plan is based on the results of an assessment of the child’s strengths and weaknesses. The therapist then designs activities and exercises, called “interventions,” to help the child improve skills in areas of need. This might include teaching the child how to communicate using words or sign language, how to interact with others, or how to cope with anxiety or frustration. The therapist will also work with the child’s family and caregivers, providing support and guidance on how to carry out the treatment plan at home and in other settings.

Implementing therapy

An ABA therapist’s job is to provide therapeutic interventions to patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based on the principles of applied behavior analysis.

The therapist’s goal is to increase desired behaviors and decrease problem behaviors. To do this, the therapist uses a variety of techniques, including but not limited to:

-positive reinforcement
-negative reinforcement
-positive punishment
-negative punishment

The therapist works closely with the patient and their family to develop a treatment plan that targets specific goals. The treatment plan is constantly evolving as the patient progresses and new goals are identified.

The therapist may also provide resources and support to the patient’s family and caregivers to help them implement therapy at home.

Monitoring progress

An ABA therapist’s primary role is to monitor the progress of their patients. This includes tracking data, setting goals, and modifying plans as needed. ABA therapists also teach new skills, help children practice existing skills, and work with families to support learning at home.


An ABA therapist is a professional who has completed specialized training in Applied Behavior Analysis. ABA therapists work with children and adults who have autism spectrum disorder or other developmental disabilities. The goal of ABA therapy is to help the individual improve their quality of life by teaching them new skills and reducing problem behaviors. ABA therapists use a variety of techniques to achieve these goals.


Becoming an ABA therapist requires a specific education and clinical experience. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to education and licensure, as each state has different requirements. However, most ABA therapists have at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology, education, or a related field. In some cases, a master’s degree or higher may be required. ABA therapists must also complete clinical training in behavior assessment and intervention techniques. Once they have completed their education and clinical training, ABA therapists must obtain certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).


To become a certified ABA therapist, you will need to complete a minimum of 40 hours of training in ABA principles and practices. You will also need to pass a written exam and a skills demonstration. Some states require additional training and/or certification in order to practice ABA therapy.


ABA therapists must have at least a bachelor’s degree, though many positions may require a master’s degree or higher. In addition, ABA therapists must complete a supervised clinical internship as part of their degree program. Some states require ABA therapists to be licensed or certified; requirements vary by state.


An ABA therapist is a specialized type of behavior analyst who works with patients who have autism spectrum disorder. ABA therapists use positive reinforcement to teach new skills and help patients change problematic behavior. They work with patients of all ages, from young children to adults. The average salary for an ABA therapist is $46,000 per year.

Job outlook

The job outlook for ABA therapists is positive. The demand for Special Needs services is expected to grow significantly in the next decade. In addition, as public awareness of autism and other developmental disabilities increases, more parents are likely to seek out early intervention services for their children.