FAQs and Misconceptions of ABA Therapy

FAQs and Misconceptions of ABA Therapy

The Board Certified Behavior Analysts at Mobile Therapy Centers are extremely proud of the progress their clients made this past year, and they cannot wait to begin a new year of therapy!

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy is an evidence-based therapy that is a recommended therapy for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

A common misconception of ABA is that it is a therapy that uses bribery to get children to behave how the therapist wants. The Internet is covered with pictures and videos of children getting handed bright colored pieces of candy by ABA therapists, so it makes sense that someone could draw this conclusion.

There are a few reasons, however, that the methods used in ABA differ from bribery. In instances of bribery, the item is given to the individual prior to them doing the action as a way of persuasion. This is different from ABA protocol because ABA therapists set up the environment so that their clients receive the item only after completing the target behavior. This increases the likelihood that the client will do the target behavior again in the future.

A common question we get at Mobile Therapy Centers is, “Shouldn’t we teach children that you don’t always get rewarded for your behavior?”, and that is a great question! Every person’s behavior occurs because the person gets something out of it. We read a sentence to gain information, turn a doorknob to open a door, show up for work to avoid being ridiculed, or tell someone about an accomplishment to receive praise. At first, for many of our clients, social praise isn’t reinforcing to them. For this reason, our therapists first use items such as toys and treats so that our clients have something to work for. We then use ABA strategies to transition children from working for toys to working for consequences that naturally occur.

At Mobile Therapy Centers, our goal is for our clients to continue using the skills we teach in their everyday lives…where it matters most!