ABA Therapy

Applied Behavior Analysis, ABA, therapy is both a science and an art that can lead to profound change for individuals with autism and similar needs.

The core principles of ABA are rooted in the science of behavior and learning (behavior analysis) and the intervention strategies are guided by continued research. ABA becomes an art as practitioners partner with autistic individuals and their families to develop goals and intervention strategies that meet the individual needs and resources of each client.

Common skills that benefit early learners include:

Communication and Social

  • Ask for needs and wants

  • Respond to name

  • Follow simple instructions

  • Imitate others' actions and sounds

  • Turn-taking and sharing

Adaptive skills

  • Functional play activities

  • Wait and accepting "no"

  • Daily hygiene tasks (e.g., brush teeth, cut nails, haircuts, bathing)

  • Toileting independence

  • Safety skills (e.g., pool safety, staying near adult in community settings)

Common skills that benefit more established learners include:

Communication and Social

  • Advanced social skills (e.g., conversation, friendship, sophisticated games)

  • Advanced communication skills (e.g., retelling events, following complex instructions, expressing emotions)

  • Problem solving

  • Self-advocacy and self-management strategies


  • Complete non-preferred tasks (e.g., academic assignments, chores, following instructions)

  • Participate in health appointments (e.g., medical, dental, vision)

  • Coping skills

  • Independent leisure skills

  • Goal setting

  • Safety skills (e.g., peer pressure, bullying, weapons, street

Common skills that benefit advanced 16+ yrs learners include:

Communication and Social

  • Friendships and dating

  • Job-related social and communication skills (e.g., job interviews, supervisor communication)

  • Advanced self-advocacy strategies (e.g., request accommodations, navigate conflict)


  • Vocational skills

  • Postsecondary preparation and college success skills

  • Daily living independence (e.g., cooking, hygiene, medications, public transit)

  • Advanced safety skills (e.g., drugs and alcohol, follow laws, police interactions)