It can be difficult for parents to navigate the many treatments available for children with autism, and while there are a number of interventions available, it’s Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) evidence based interventions that emerge as the leading therapy.
What is ABA?
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is an intensive and structured education therapy program for children with an autism spectrum disorder.
ABA helps children to develop important life-skills they need, such as behavioural, self-help, social and learning skills, to interact with others and to cope with the challenges of everyday life.
Together, early intervention and ABA treatment supports many pre-school aged children with autism to succeed alongside their peers.
Starting an ABA program
Generally, ABA therapists work one-on-one with the child at your home for many hours each week. Based on the research, around at least 15-20 hours per week of intensive ABA therapy is needed to ensure the benefits are long-term.
The focus of ABA programs is on all areas of childhood development as well as addressing problematic behaviours.
How long does ABA therapy take?
The program is tailored to the child’s age and skill level, and incorporated into other programs and activities the child is involved in, such as child care, kindy and or speech pathology for example.
A 20-hour per week program typically involves two to three-hour sessions, with breaks, each morning and afternoon, five days a week.
Children typically work with the therapist for a few minutes at a time interspersed with short play breaks that also give the therapist an opportunity to record information and prepare the next task. Each hour, one long break of 10-20 minutes is taken.
Every two to four weeks, the program supervisor will arrange a review meeting with the parents, therapists and other professionals working with the child. These meetings typically run for around two hours and are held to review progress, make program changes where required, and to provide feedback to therapists.
For more information about ABA therapy, download our Fact Sheet.
Further reading: Flinders Early Intervention Program (FEIP)