ABA Therapy Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about ABA therapy.

steven zauderer
Steven Zauderer
August 22nd, 2022

What is ABA therapy?

ABA therapy, short for applied behavior analysis, is a behavioral therapy designed to help children on the autism spectrum develop social, emotional, and learning skills. It's a type of interpersonal therapy in which a child works with a medical clinician one-on-one. The goal of ABA therapy is to improve social and learning skills in children through early intervention.

what is aba therapy

Read More: What Is ABA Therapy?

What does ABA therapy stand for?

ABA therapy stands for applied behavior analysis therapy, which is a therapy based on the science of behavior and learning.

What do ABA therapy sessions look like?

An ABA therapy session could include any of these activities:

  1. Desk learning time: This is sometimes referred to as discrete trial training or DTT.
  2. Play time: This is where a therapist and your child play with toys together.
  3. Snack time: Snack time can help your child develop skills related to eating and having a meal with others.
  4. Daily living activities: For example, your child will learn how to brush their teeth, wash their hands, tie their shoes, etc.
  5. Potty training: An ABA session can include potty training for children who haven't yet learned how to do it yet.
  6. Group time: Depending on your child's age and needs, this might look like a preschool circle time activity, or it may be more of an informal setting where older children do activities together with your child.
  7. Social skills time: Your child's therapist focuses more on teaching your child specific social skills during this activity.

How much does ABA therapy cost?

ABA therapy paid out of pocket will cost:

  1. $62,400 to $249,600 per year
  2. $4,800 to over $20,000 per month
  3. $1,200 to $4,800 per week
  4. $240 to $600 per day
  5. $120 to $150 per hour

However, there are many insurance providers that will greatly reduce the cost of ABA therapy for your family. Contact us today to learn which insurance providers we accept.

Read More: ABA Therapy Cost

When should you stop ABA therapy?

You should stop receiving ABA therapy when:

  • When the child has completed 2-3 years of intensive therapy followed by 2-3 more years in a focused approach.
  • When the main objectives have been reached.
  • When the person receiving the therapy doesn’t exhibit the most common symptoms of autism.
  • When progress has been slowed over weeks or months.
  • When nothing seems to be helping to mitigate issues with the patient.

Read More: When To Stop ABA Therapy

Who created ABA therapy?

Ivar Lovaas (1927-2010) is the inventor of applied behavior analysis (ABA therapy). His role in the development of ABA was influenced by his own behavioral preconditions and an environment that was established by his peers.

inventor of aba therapy

Read More: History Of Applied Behavior Analysis

How long does ABA therapy last?

The average child takes ABA therapy for around 2-3 years of intensive therapy followed by possibly 2-3 more years of a focused approach.

How effective is ABA therapy?

Ivar Lovaas, the inventor of ABA, proved that early intervention and intensive behavioral therapy enabled children children with autism to achieve success. In fact, 90% of children make large gains through ABA therapy.

Read More: ABA Therapy Success Rates

Can ABA therapy cure autism?

There is currently no cure for autism, which means ABA therapy cannot cure autism. However, experts say that the best way to manage symptoms and develop skills is through ABA therapy. Autism is a complicated disorder that is presented differently in each person.

Read More: Is There A Cure For Autism?

Is ABA therapy covered by insurance?

In most cases, insurance will cover a large portion of ABA therapy's costs. The majority of insurance plans cover autism treatment, but coverage varies in each state and plan.

Is ABA therapy only for autism?

Myth: ABA therapy is only for children with autism

Fact: ABA therapy can help children and adults without autism adopt positive behaviors and reduce negative ones.

How many hours of ABA therapy is needed?

Your child should get 2-5 hours of ABA therapy per day, 10-40 hours per week, and 40-120 hours per month.

Read More: ABA Therapy Recommended Hours

Why is ABA therapy controversial?

ABA therapy is controversial because there are disagreements between supporters and critiques of the therapy on whether or not it's effective or safe. Studies show that ABA therapy is effective and safe.

steven zauderer

CEO of CrossRiverTherapy - a national ABA therapy company based in the USA.

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