top of page

How Long Are ABA Therapy Sessions?

how long are ABA therapy sessions.jpg

If your child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), their therapist or doctor is likely to propose evidence-based behavior treatment with an applied behavior analysis (ABA) provider.

After you speak to the provider and schedule the introductory session, your kid's ABA treatment schedule and the plan is going to be devised depending on the duration the therapist thinks your child requires intervention. This depends on the degree of the seriousness of the condition, whether additional treatments are used, your child's school support system, along with several other factors.

How Long Are ABA Therapy Sessions?

As parents start to seek out therapists, they will discover that ABA therapy is not a small commitment.

ABA therapy sessions will range from 2 to 5 hours based on the need of the particular child and the associated treatment objectives your Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), and you have developed together. This implies they might require up to 40 hours of ABA therapy every week.

Even though the treatment duration is quite long and intensive, it usually falls in intensity with the passage of time until the child eventually no longer requires the therapy.

Keep in mind that it's essential to keep your child under treatment for the duration the ABA provider suggests. ABA therapy can enhance the lives of individuals with autism, and individuals who take part in comprehensive treatment witness better results.

How Are ABA Therapy Hours Determined?

Children who have autism require intervention in the early stages of their lives to help them develop positive behaviors, reduce maladaptive behaviors, and effectively manage problems related to cognition, communication, and socialization. As autism is a developmental disorder, it doesn't have a cure. However, ABA therapy can effectively ease symptoms.

Here are the steps are taken to determine the hours needed for ABA therapy.

1. ABA Evaluation

In the initial stages of ABA therapy, a BCBA will perform an evaluation. They will assess the child's skills and interview the parent directly to learn more about the child and the family.

In certain cases, the child will even take part in the interview if required. During the evaluation phase, the practitioner is going to observe how the environment impacts the child's behavior and carry out a skills-based assessment to identify the child's baseline skill levels.

2. Analyzing Results

Once the evaluation is complete, the practitioner is going to read the data, go over the assessment outcomes, re-evaluate the intake information, and review the parent interview to calculate how many hours of therapy are clinically required. The number of hours will be suggested based on the recommended treatment plan and what is most suitable to assist the child in becoming as independent as possible with enhanced quality of life in the long term.

3. Offering a Recommendation

There are several variables that go into determining a clinical recommendation for the duration and intensity of ABA therapy. Some of these variables include how many goals will be targeted, the level and intensity of interfering behaviors, medical needs, what the interfering behaviors look like, and guardian/parent coaching requirements.

Throughout the treatment plan, the BCBA will re-evaluate the child to observe if there is a need to change the recommended hours. The BCBA should always collaborate with caregivers to help develop socially-significant objectives or objectives that are going to help the child and their family enhance their quality of life.

Do ABA Therapy Hours Change Over Time?

Another question that many parents have on their mind is: "Is my child going to need this amount of hours all throughout this life?" The answer to this question is no, as therapy hours will fade out as the individual shows major improvements in functional independence, application of skills to various environments, and a considerable reduction in interfering behaviors across all environments. Hours can increase or decrease depending on how your child is responding to the treatment.

Research reveals that 30 to 40 hours a week are ideal when the objective is to close the learning gap across development domains with that of neurotypical counterparts. According to the practice guidelines given by the Council of Autism Service Providers, children below the age of 3 with an ASD diagnosis have the best outcomes with 25 to 30 hours per week. On the other hand, children who are close to the age of 3 have the best results with 30 or more hours every week.

When a child is recommended to receive extensive ABA treatment (26 hours or more), it's common for this to be tough for parents or guardians to commit to. This is very understandable. However, keep in mind that it's said that the time spent away from therapy can result in increased behavioral problems or skill deficits.

BCBAs will usually explain that receiving comprehensive services as soon as recommended will offer the child a higher chance of lowering the number of services and time spent in therapies as the person gets older.

Managing the Finances

You would perhaps be worried about incurring the costs associated with such elaborate treatment. Fortunately, insurance considerably reduced the cost of ABA therapy in several cases. This results in lower out-of-pocket costs for parents whose children are struggling with ASD.

Talk to your ABA therapist and pediatrician to involve your insurance company. A lot of states in the US require you to get some health insurance coverage for ASD, and ABA therapy fulfils the standard of many insurance firms.

The crucial bit is that your child receives the number of ABA therapy hours every week that's proposed for their particular situation.

Start Your Childs ABA Therapy Today

At Accel Therapies, we provide the highest quality treatment programs and therapy services to assist children with ASD and a vast range of other needs, enhance their quality of life, attain their development goals, and reach their true potential. What differentiates us is our focus on an individual connection with our clients and our dedication to life-altering results for families.


We offer center-based, community-based, and in-home services across Texas, Idaho, and California, with new locations coming soon. Visit our website to learn more about ABA therapy and how we can help you out.


Learn more here

Learn about different types of caregivers here

bottom of page