Frequently Asked Questions about ABA Therapy

What is ABA Therapy?

ABA therapy, also known as “applied behavior analysis,” is a scientifically proven approach to behavior modification that has been used successfully to treat children with autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, developmental delays, and other special needs. ABA therapy is founded on the principles of behaviorism, which means that all behavior is learned and can be changed through systematic intervention.

How Does ABA Therapy Work?

At its core, ABA therapy involves breaking down complex behaviors into smaller, more manageable parts, and then teaching or reinforcing those behaviors through the use of positive reinforcement.  This is done by systematically analyzing the antecedents (what happens right before the behavior occurs), the behavior itself, and the consequences (what happens right after the behavior occurs). By carefully adjusting these variables, ABA therapists can help individuals adjust their behaviors.  One of the key features of ABA therapy is its emphasis on data collection and analysis. ABA therapists use a variety of tools and techniques to track progress and measure the effectiveness of their interventions. This data is then used to make informed decisions about how to modify the therapy program and ensure that it is tailored to the individual’s specific needs and goals. ABA therapy is
  • based on the scientific research of behavior.
  • Designed interventions for your child’s unique needs.
  • Focused on teaching new skills and reducing challenging behaviors.
  • Effective with your child in real-world settings.
  • Proven effective for children with special needs.

What does ABA Therapy involve?


The therapist will conduct an assessment to determine the individual’s strengths, needs, and areas for improvement. This assessment may include direct observation, interviews with caregivers and teachers, and standardized assessments.

Goal setting

Based on the assessment, the therapist will develop goals for the individual to work on during therapy. These will be SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound


The therapist will develop and implement a treatment plan for achieving the goals. This may involve teaching new skills or behaviors, modifying existing behaviors, or addressing problem behaviors.

Data collection

The therapist will collect data to track progress toward the goals. This may involve taking notes during therapy sessions, conducting formal assessments at regular intervals, or using electronic data collection systems.


The therapist will analyze the data to determine whether progress is being made toward the goals. Based on the analysis, the therapist may adjust the intervention plan or goals as needed.

Parent and caregiver involvement

Parents and caregivers are often involved in the therapy process as they can reinforce the skills and behaviors taught in therapy in real-life situations. The therapist may provide training and support to parents and caregivers to help them effectively reinforce the skills and behaviors taught in therapy. Overall, ABA therapy is a comprehensive, individualized approach that involves ongoing assessment and analysis to help individuals with autism and other issues learn new behaviors.

How long does ABA Therapy last and how many hours are needed?

The duration and frequency of ABA therapy can vary depending on a number of factors including:
  • individual needs of the person receiving therapy
  • amount of daily support
  • goals of the therapy
  • availability of resources
  • parent involvement at home
In general, ABA therapy is a long-term intervention that can last for several months or years. For children with autism, ABA therapy is often recommended for at least 20 hours per week with some children requiring more or less.  We also have parents that may adjust their child’s hours over time due to improvement or decline in behaviors. We may have therapy sessions for 10 hours a week to start, reduce to 5 after improvement while increasing to 20 after a “difficult” time period. We understand behavior swings happen in both directions and can provide care when needed.

Is ABA Therapy harmful?

Some people claim that ABA therapy is harmful, arguing that it can be abusive, traumatic, or too focused on making the individual “conform” to social norms. They say the therapy is too rigid, may not take into account the unique needs of each child, and may lead to a loss of individuality or creativity. 

At Pounce Behavioral Therapy, we focus on giving the best treatment possible and remained focused on providing the best outcomes for our clients. Our founder is the parent of a child with ASD and it’s in our company culture to treat every child with the level of care that we would our own.

Our ABA therapy is a highly individualized approach where we focus on the little details of each child. We pay attention to:

  • toys they like
  • foods they like
  • what makes them comfortable or uncomfortable
  • behavior triggers
  • Activities they enjoy or ones they struggle with
  • and more

This allows us to tailor our approach to their specific needs and help them with the things that are difficult. 

To emphasize specific behaviors, we will use positive reinforcement such as verbal praise. For example, you’ve probably said “good job” to your child when they cleaned up their toys – in hopes they clean up their toys again in the future. This is the type of positive reinforcement we use with children with ASD to help them:

  • learn new things
  • adapt to new situations
  • improve communication
  • increase socialization
  • and learn important life skills.

It is important to note that ABA therapy is not the only treatment option available for autism. Other approaches such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and medication, may also be helpful in addressing a child’s specific needs and challenges. We recommend a comprehensive approach, no matter the treatment, to help your child get the care they need.

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