Welcome to Behaviorbabe
Ethical Advocate for Accurate Application & Dissemination of Behavior Analysis

Welcome to Behaviorbabe

Ethical Advocate for Accurate Application & Dissemination of Behavior Analysis

So, you have a little (or not so little) one that has been diagnosed with autism or a related disorder.  You may have heard "ABA can help" or "look into this thing called applied behavior analysis".  Overwhelmed with where to start? I'm here to help.

First Signs / Autism Speaks  / First 100 Days kit

Autism now affects 1 in 68 children

Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls

Autism greatly varies from person to person 

The rate of autism has steadily grown over the last twenty years

About 25%–30% of children with autism have some words at 12 to 18 months of age and then lose them. About 40% of children with autism do not speak. Others might speak, but not until later in childhood

Children with autism do progress – early intervention is key

Research from the Lovaas Institute

Between 1985 and 2010, there were over 500 articles published concerning Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Autism. Access these articles by visiting the Lovaas Institute


Recommendations for Caregivers, Practitioners, and Policy Makers

Evidence-Based Practices for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Since the discovery of autism as a human condition by Kanner (1943) and Asperger (1944) in the 1940s, individuals responsible for education and care of children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have striven to provide effective practices and programs. Such efforts continue today. The increased prevalence of ASD has intensified the demand for effective educational and therapeutic services, and intervention science is now providing evidence about which practices are effective. The purpose of this report is to describe a process for the identification of evidence-based practices (EBPs) and also to delineate practices that have sufficient empirical support to be termed “evidence-based.” In this introduction, we will brie y review the current conceptualization of ASD, explain the difference between focused intervention practices and comprehensive treatment models, provide a rationale for narrowing our review to the former, describe other reports that have identified evidence-based practices, brie y describe our first review of the literature (Odom, Collet-Klingenberg, Rogers, & Hatton, 2010), and lastly provide the rationale for conducting an updated review of the literature and revision of the former set of practices identified.

Evidence-Based Practices for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Wong, C., Odom, S. L., Hume, K. Cox, A. W., Fettig, A., Kucharczyk, S., ... Schultz, T. R. (2013). Evidence-based practices for children, youth, and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, Autism Evidence-Based Practice Review Group.

Surgeon General Endorses Behavioral Intervention for Autism

United States Surgeon General David Satcher, MD, PhD, has endorsed intensive behavioral intervention for individuals with autism. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General states, “Thirty years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and in increasing communication, learning, and appropriate social behavior.”

The report is available on the world wide web at:: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/mentalhealth/chapter3/sec6.html#autism

The report can also be ordered by calling 1-877-9MHealth, or by writing to Mental Health, Pueblo, CO 81009.

Commonly asked Questions

What does ABA therapy look like? ABA services can look different for different types of learners. For early learners with severe needs, ABA services may be recommended up to 40 hours per week. Research demonstrates that individuals who receive early intensive behavioral interventions have the best outcomes. ABA services may be provided in lower density when targeting specific needs (e.g., social skills, prevocational skills, etc.), or when working with older learners or those with less intense needs. See snippets of ABA Sessions here.

Who is qualified to provide ABA? As the profession of behavior analysis continues to grow and strengthen, it is becoming increasingly expected that individuals designing ABA interventions possess board certification as behavior analysts (BCBA). The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) offers ABA credentials at the technician, assistant behavior analyst, BCBA, and BCBA-D level. Find a Behavior Analyst in your area

Will my insurance cover ABA? This varies from state to state. In many states (45) there exists autism insurance coverage, at least at some level. In many states there are age and dollar cap restrictions, and individuals are encouraged to speak with their case managers. In many states, including Massachusetts, ABA services are covered without an age or dollar cap. Federally speaking, CMS guidance was issued in 2014 that clarified Medicaid's obligation to provide coverage of ABA services as well, up to age 21. Visit APBA to learn more.

Will my child's school provide ABA? That varies greatly from state to state. In Massachusetts, for example it is common for school district's to have a BEHAVIOR ANALYST on staff. In Hawai'i, that is not the case currently. You should be made aware of your rights, feel free speaking up on behalf of those rights, and obtain assistance from an educational advocate, if you need help exercising those rights.  

What is the Effective Age Range for Treatment? Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for Autism: What is the Effective Age Range for Treatment? (Larsson, 2012):  In the research listed here, over 2,000 children and adolescents who were between the ages of five and twenty-one were documented as receiving effective ABA treatment.