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A Child’s Typical Day in ABA Therapy – Everything You Should Know

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A child's diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) impacts the whole family. Autism has no cure; thus, treatment is the only way to learn how to live a happy life with their circumstances.

Children with autism usually have behavioral problems that damage their well-being, everyday life, and those around them.

ABA therapy is one of the most effective techniques to reroute children with autism to adapt to new situations and learn important skills. Therapists do this using positive reinforcement.

All ABA therapists aim to assist your child in getting the confidence and independence they need to deal with daily tasks.

A Child’s Typical Day in ABA Therapy

The initial days of ABA therapy are all fun and games. Before a therapist starts to work on a child's specific therapy objective, they have to ensure that the child feels comfortable and safe in the new environment. Thus, the first few ABA therapy sessions involve "pairing" – developing a rapport and learning about a child's favorite games, toys, snacks, treats, laughs, and tickles.

Once a strong relationship between the therapist and the child is established, the therapy can start. In a child's typical day in ABA therapy, every child works through therapy sessions in a block rotation schedule with various therapists – every session lasting 2 to 3 hours – to keep things fresh and allow the child to generalize across therapy styles. The progress can be tracked on online software programs. Physicians and parents can stay updated with progress reports and graphs showcasing daily success rates and therapy objectives. Once the child has mastered a specific goal, they can move on to take up new challenges.

ABA is divided into two methods: Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and Natural Environment Training (NET).

Discrete Trial Training

DTT is what regular school lessons usually look like. Children will focus on a particular task one-on-one with a therapist, sometimes across a table with games, books, and iPads. Therapists use this method to develop skills such as pointing to items, matching pictures, keeping eye contact, imitating, and learning to say words and make sounds.

Instead of teaching an entire skill at once, this technique breaks down and then "builds up" using discrete trials that teach every step one at a time. It involves showing an antecedent, the child's response, and the therapist reinforcing the right answer or correcting a mistake.

Natural Environment Training (NET)

NET is more of a play-based, naturalistic approach where children play on their own while being encouraged by their therapists or socializing and interacting with others to learn the skills required to work in a real-world environment.

Many of the skills taught in DTT are also incorporated into NET sessions to ensure the skills get transferred organically. For instance, during DTT, you might teach a student to expressively and receptively label the colors of items at the table. Then, during the NET, the student would practice the skills by labeling the colors of pencils you are coloring with or asking for the colors of Play-Doh you are playing with.

NET is also quite helpful in teaching a learner social and play skills while encouraging the generalization of newly learned skills.

Things to Know About ABA Therapy Sessions

ABA is an effective therapy for children dealing with autism. Nevertheless, it even covers a number of everyday living skills such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, holding cutlery pieces, potty training, managing emotions, and a lot more. The right way to view ABA is as an all-inclusive approach to developing skills in the areas required to live a fulfilling and valuable life – language, cognition, play skills, motor skills, social skills, self-care, and executive functioning.

1. ABA is Tailored to Your Child

Each child has their preferences, needs, and strengths, so their treatment schedule will be completely unique. ABA sessions are individualized to their distinct traits, and no two children will experience the same ABA session.

2. ABA Involves Recurring Evaluations

An extremely important element of a child's ABA therapy session involves the therapist evaluating the child and tracking their progress and regression.

During these assessments, the therapist can identify which effective treatment methods are successful and which interventions require adjustments.

Such evaluations are done regularly and are crucial for ensuring the program suits your child's needs and requirements.

3. ABA Sessions Can Be Different Every Time

The ABA sessions can be different every time. For example, one day, your child might work primarily in a one-on-one setting, and then the next day, they might have a social skills group that they attend as part of their session. Another ABA session might involve working on behavior or communication skills.


In addition, as your child acquires new skills and behaviors and challenging behaviors get less severe and frequent, your child's ABA sessions might change again.

4. Length of an ABA Session Might Vary

An ABA therapy session varies in length from one child to another. Some children might have an hour-long session, whereas others might have a four-hour long session. Despite the length of the session, children undergoing this therapy are given a number of activities to help them learn new things and generalize their behaviors and skills in ways that help them keep up their progress.

Last Few Words

If your child has ASD, make sure to get in touch with Accel Therapies. We create a new paradigm based on hyper-individualized care, evidence-based research, and a focus on results for your child. Our sole focus is to leverage our expertise to help your child meet their developmental goals.


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