WHAT IS ABA?
Behavior analysis is the scientific study of behavior. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the application of
the principles of learning and motivation from behavior analysis, and the procedures and technology
derived from those principles, to the solution of problems of social significance. Many decades of
research have validated treatments based on ABA.
ABA is the most effective treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Over the past
40 years, thousands of research studies have documented the effectiveness of ABA
across all populations and settings. CARD is proud to be the nation’s third largest non-
governmental organization contributing to autism research. Discover CARD's Research
Through ongoing training of its treatment teams, CARD ensures that every treatment
plan incorporates the more recent developments in evidence-based autism treatment.
The ultimate objective of ABA in autism treatment is to achieve meaningful improvement
across a wide range of functioning, from language to socializing to daily living skills. ABA
is used to teach new skills, increase and maintain wanted behaviors, decrease
behaviors that interfere with functioning, and generalize skill acquisition from one
environment to another.
CHOOSING AN ABA PROVIDER
In the sea of ABA providers, it can be difficult feeling confident that you have chosen the provider best
suited for you. Not all providers with ABA training also have expertise in treating autism. When evaluating
ABA programs, ascertain whether program guidelines are in place to ensure effective treatment by highly
- Does the provider tailor the treatment plan to address each individual’s unique deficits and behaviors?
- Are modifications made to the treatment plan when needed?
- Does the provider incorporate the latest research findings into its treatment plans?
EMPHASIS ON GENERALIZATION
- Does generalization work begin immediately?
- Is there an emphasis to generalize skills across people?
- Is there an emphasis to generalize the way instructions are given?
- Is there an emphasis to generalize skills across learning environments?
- Is there a push to transition to a naturally occurring reinforcement schedule?
- Is the treatment plan individualized?
- Are the hours recommended consistent with research findings?
- Is regular supervision provided by qualified individuals?
- Are frontline therapists board certified in autism treatment?
- Do the members of your treatment team receive ongoing training and continuing education?
- Does the supervisor involve the family in prioritizing treatment goals?
- Does the treatment team help family members and caregivers understand and support the treatment
COORDINATION OF CARE
- Are parents/caregivers encouraged to provide relevant medical records?
- Does the provider work with other disciplines to ensure coordination of care?
- Does the provider coordinate care with other healthcare providers?