September 4, 2017

Child therapy: What is ABA therapy?

Lumiere Children’s therapy now offers Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy services as part of its comprehensive programming.  ABA is an evidence-based therapy that uses motivation and interests unique to each child in order to teach new skills across all domains. ABA therapy focuses on positive reinforcement to encourage beneficial behaviors and reduce ones that may be harmful or interfere with new learning. ABA is most successful when all parents and caregivers are educated and informed on the components and techniques of ABA therapy for their child.


What does ABA therapy involve?

ABA therapy focuses on individualized intervention based on the learner’s motivators, skills, needs, interest, and family/caregiver situation. Therefore sessions will look different from person to person, but each approach will consist of common components: discrete trail teaching, programming for generalization to natural environment, reinforcement, prompting and fading strategies, and outcome-based decision making.

  • Discrete trail teaching: Discrete trail teaching involves taking a task and breaking it down into smaller parts in order to teach and reinforce a behavior. Breaking a task into steps allows for recognition of underlying skill deficits that need to be addressed in order to successfully complete the given task.
  • Programming for generalization: Sessions will initially occur in a calm, isolated environment to eliminate all distractions or barriers in order to facilitate new learning. Once the skill is learned in a quiet, structured environment, the child will practice the new skills across all daily environments. The new skill is considered mastered once a child is able to successfully generalize the skill across all environments.
  • Reinforcement: ABA focuses on the principle of positive reinforcement to encourage new learning. Therapist will take a reinforcer assessment to determine the child’s preferred activities and items. Multiple reinforcer assessments will be completed throughout the program to continue to implement appropriate and desired motivators.
  • Prompting and fading strategies: As new skills are introduced, therapist and caregivers provide multiple cues and prompts to help a child be successful. As the child continues to show progress in learning a skill, prompts will begin to decrease until the child can independently demonstrate understanding.
  • Outcome-based decision-making: ABA relies on objective information from concrete data to guide therapy session goals. Therapy goals will emphasize appropriate skills needed to be successful in a variety of areas including communication, sociability, self-care, play and leisure, motor development and academic skills. The intervention involves ongoing objective measurement throughout sessions, which is frequently analyzed to determine progress and adjust procedures and goals as needed.

For more information on ABA therapy and to register for our program, visit  Lumiere Children’s therapy website here. Our knowledgeable ABA therapist will put your child and family’s needs first to ensure progress and successful outcomes!



What is ABA therapy? . (n.d.). Retrieved August 24, 2017, from http://www.appliedbehavioralstrategies.com/basics-of-aba.html

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). (2012, July 24). Retrieved August 24, 2017, from https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/treatment/applied-behavior-analysis-aba

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