What is ABA? Receiving Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy Services

The Science, The Process, The Training, The Outcome, The Cost



Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a science devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior. Experimental methods are applied to socially significant behaviors, or behaviors that impact society, and measured to demonstrate a reliable relationship between the intervention & the behavior that was changed. ABA practices are clinically overseen by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and delivered by a team of certified paraprofessionals, known as Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT).


ABA is considered the "gold standard treatment" for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. According to, Dr. Ivar Lovaas 90% of children who receive applied behavior analysis (ABA) based support services achieve success (Lovaas, O. I., 1987). The science can also be used to treat behavioral deficits related to:

  • anxiety/depression

  • drug/substance abuse

  • eating disorders

  • hyper sexual behavior

  • phobia

  • anger issues, and more!

Swarthy Lion Ltd. Co., provides ABA services for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and this article will focus solely on ABA as it relates to the treatment of this population.


The process of receiving our behavior analytic services begins with, an initial consultation and assessment. (Click here to schedule a free consultation).


Consultation and Assessment


Effective ASD treatment looks different for every learner. For this reason, a parent or caregiver should reach out to a BCBA and provide specific details about their child's needs. The information provided will be used to formulate the basis of a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) as needed per each learner's intervention planning. Standardized assessment tools such as the VB-Mapp, ABLS, AFLS, or Vineland will be used to measure a child or teenager's current functioning levels and behavioral milestones. Caregivers should select "Our Services" > "Request for ABA Services" in order to schedule an intake phone call.


Our BCBA, will then spend some time interacting with your child to make observations about their behavior, communication level, and related skills. This visit will take place in the home to observe the learner engaging with his or her natural activities, but can also be conducted at your child's school or in collaboration with speech or occupational therapy services, with the completion of our Informed Consent document. Remote therapy services require a virtual observation with caregivers hands-on and present.


Intervention Planning


Following the initial consultation and assessment, the clinician will develop an individualized treatment plan inclusive of a behavior reduction and skill acquisition plan that are tailored to your learner's needs. The plan will also include target objectives for parents to carryover treatment strategies that promote lasting change.


Our Intervention Methods



Our Early Intervention Services offer your little learners the greatest opportunity for lasting change. Ideal for children with autism and related developmental disabilities between the ages of 1.5 to 6 years old, embedded in our practices are behavior analytic principles of reinforcement, punishment, and extinction. Early intervention aims to accelerate the rate of child learning and foster new growth & development (Landa, 2018).


Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT) methods involve breaking skills down into simplified steps and teaching those skills to children systematically. Children get rewards for all of their achievements, which encourages them to continue learning. An ideal instructional setting for direct instruction should be modified to accomodate the learner's behavioral needs to encourage best results. Click here to download a FREE pdf copy of a rewards chart that can be used at home to keep your little learner motivated throughout the day!


Natural Environment Teaching (NET) methods involve using the motivation of the child (by incorporating interest areas) to learn new and socially significant skills. NET is frequently used with individuals who are on the autism spectrum as a way to help with the generalization of skills. Generalization is when a child is able to apply the skills that they learn in one setting to other settings, even new or unfamiliar environments. This may be helpful with feeding, for example, if your little learner has difficulty eating certain foods at home but will eat them in school, an ABA therapist can offer systematic rewards for eating the same food across environments. Learn more about our intervention methods here.


Parent Training & Consultation

Contact Us for ABA Parent Training & Consultation!

Parents are encouraged to actively participate in our treatment services and will receive training to implement reinforcement techniques in the home. We believe the natural bond between a caregiver and their child is the most reinforcing (motivating) connection that can be maintained in a learner's development. Parents and caregivers who participate in therapy services and receive formal training from a BCBA increase the likelihood of their child's success.


Treatment Outcomes


Outcomes for ABA treatment will vary across learners, as well as, length and duration of treatment. Typical recommendations for ABA service hours range from 24-40 service hours per week but can be as few as 10 hours per week. Responses to therapy heavily rely on data collection results, and are based on the learner's needs. Treatment services may last anywhere from a few months to several years with proven medical necessity through ongoing assessment and evaluation by your BCBA.


ABA often helps children improve in some of the following areas:

  • Encourages children to show more interest in the world around them

  • Helps children become more verbal or increase their communication skills

  • Interventions work to reduce or discontinue self-harming/physically aggressive behaviors

  • Teaches children to ask for their preferences/activities without being disruptive

  • Strengthens independence with task completion (learn to organize his or her tasks and complete activities from start to finish)!

Remote and In-Home/Community Based Treatment


Our home and community based therapy services include 1:1 direct support from a trained ABA professional in the learner's natural environment. A BCBA will provide ongoing supervision and training to an RBT in the direct care setting. Remote teletherapy services are also available upon request.

Contact Us To Request ABA Therapy Services Today!

Cost of Therapy


At Swarthy Lion, we believe services should be quality, accessible, and effective. For this reason we are pending approval to begin accepting clients with an autism diagnosis from a medical doctor or qualified diagnostic specialist and who are insured through medicaid. This typically results in no out of pocket costs for most authorized members, but please contact your service provider to inquire about specifics related to ABA coverage. Out-of-pocket costs for individuals uninsured or underinsured will be based on assessment and can be confirmed by contacting: sindy@swarthylion.com.


Schedule your free consultation with us and we will be happy to assist you with any additional medical insurance & billing related questions!