15 Crucial Elements of an ABA Program

15 Crucial Elements of an ABA Program

ABA principles are relatively simple. In fact, even the process of developing a treatment plan is relatively simple as well – at least it looks that way. At a macro level, the process of creating and running an ABA program generally follows these steps:

1.    Conduct Intake (Review all relevant information)

2.    Conduct Skills Assessment (ABLLS, VB-MAPP, Questionnaire, etc.)

3.    Analyze results of Skills Assessment

4.    Conduct Preference Assessment (to identify reinforcers)

5.    Develop Initial ABA Program (and Update Regularly)

6.    Identify targets (e.g. major deficits)

7.    Always start with basic foundational skills (i.e. Behavior and Communication)

8.    Create Lesson Plans

9.    Implement Lesson Plans**

10.  Collect Data**

11.  Review Activity and Results (with supervisor)

12.  Adjust program if necessary

13.  Create additional lesson plans as needed

14.  Generalize and Maintain Acquired Skills

15.  Repeat steps 4 through 14

** Implementers are responsible.


What makes ABA difficult is the need for rapid decision-making. An average ABA program may require hundreds of iterations to maintain treatment integrity. It’s the ability to make the correct decisions, at the right time, that sets good ABA professionals apart from others. This role typically falls to an experienced BCBA.

Note: To maintain treatment integrity, it is strongly recommended that you involve a BCBA during program creation and ongoing program supervision.

Our Level 3 ABA Online Training Program shows you how to tie all your ABA knowledge together to complete all the steps above required to create and maintain an ABA program.

Suggested tools:
Special Learning’s ABA Quick Reference Guide
Journey to Independence – ABA Waitlist Training for Parents
Social Skills – ABA Literature Summary

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