What Happens During ABA Therapy?

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy is widely recognized as the most effective, evidence-based treatment for autism and is endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General and American Academy of Pediatrics. ABA therapy focuses on basic skills such as looking, listening, requesting and imitating, as well as complex skills such as reading, conversing and understanding another person’s perspective. ABA also helps reduces behaviors that make it difficult for children to learn.

Treatment plans are developed according to the functional assessment that is made for the individual receiving services. It is important that the therapy is based around play for children and especially children with autism. It is during play that children learn:

  • appropriate behavior
  • task completion
  • turn taking
  • building relationship
  • joint attention
  • imitation
  • appropriate language
  • tolerance to a variety of ways to play with toys
  • reciprocal interaction

ABA is geared towards appropriate usage of certain toys. For example, when teaching play-dough, certain tasks are targeted such as rolling play-dough with a rolling pin, cutting play-dough and making shapes from cookie-cutters.

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"Chicago ABA Therapy is a boon for special needs kids and parents. They take a play-based, personalized approach and meet the kids where they are. They also go above and beyond - our ABA therapist took time to make sure we as parents understood every aspect of our child's experience, understood how to read his progress reports and generally made us feel a part of his therapy. My child loved all his therapists. Highly recommend the team!"

"We were so happy with our experience with Chicago ABA. We began working with them when our son was almost 4, a few months after his autism diagnosis. It was such an amazing team to work with - everyone was professional, responsive, flexible, and worked so hard for our son to meet his goals, which he did beautifully. We worked together for almost 2 years before he left for kindergarten, and in that time period he met almost all of his goals. We went through several bumps in the road with behavioral difficulties, and the Chicago ABA team did an amazing job helping us problem solve, try new strategies and think of ways to translate those strategies at home. We couldn't recommend them more highly - anyone who works with Chicago ABA will be lucky to have the experience!"