top of page
Daycare Center

What is ABA and Early Intervention? 

Applied behaviour analysis, also known as ABA or ABA therapy, is an evidence-based approach that has been shown to be effective for individuals with a variety of support needs - including Autism and other disabilities. Early Intervention focuses on providing support to children during the early years of their development where intervention is most likely to be successful. ABA involves positively influencing a child's environment to motivate and encourage them to learn new skills that may replace behaviours of concern or allow them to live more independent & successful lives.

What does it look like?

Early Intervention Autism Autism Therapy.png


Intervention is typically most effective from age 2 to school aged. The earlier you start, the more likely the best outcomes for your child and their future.

Evidence Based ABA Autism Therapy.png


Intervention should be evidence-based, and progress regularly measured - in order to ensure informed decisions about treatment and program development are being made.

Intensive Early Intervention ABA Autism Therapy.png


Intervention must be consistent - that is children should practice their new skills regularly. Therapy hours per week can range from 5-20 depending on their needs

Collaboration ABA Autism Therapy.png

Collaborative and Family Centred

Intervention should be collaborative and involve the child's family every step of the way to ensure generalisation of skills across contexts

Behavioural Skills ABA Autism Therapy.png


Intervention should focus on behaviours that matter - understanding why behaviours occur and what skills that child is likely to need to be successful in their every day life

Values ABA Autism Therapy.png


Intervention should prioritise maintaining the values of safety, trust and rapport - over protocol, at all times. Intervention should focus on the individual family and what is important to them

"First, we're going to find the joy and then and only then, we're going to teach.."

Inspired by Dr. Greg Hanley

How is ABA different from Speech or Occupational Therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Speech Therapy, and Occupational Therapy are all different types of interventions that can be used to support individuals with various developmental and communication challenges. While there may be some overlap in the types of skills or behaviors that are addressed in these interventions, there are also some key differences:

ABA therapy uses the principles of behaviour to teach new skills using positive reinforcement. ABA therapy can be used to teach a wide range of skills, such as social skills, language and communication, self-care, and academic skills. The goal of ABA therapy is to improve overall functioning and quality of life of an individual. ABA Therapists will usually record data to measure progress on goals, to ensure therapy is effective, and may utilise therapy assistants as key implementors (behaviour therapists) in order to provide more regular therapy sessions throughout the week.

Speech Therapy often focuses specifically on developing speech and language skills. Speech therapists may work with individuals who have difficulty with speech, language, communication, or swallowing due to developmental delays, cognitive impairments, or other conditions. Speech therapy can involve a variety of techniques, such as articulation therapy, language therapy, and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). 

Occupational Therapy (OT) often focuses improving an individual's ability to perform daily activities and participate in meaningful occupations, such as school, work, or leisure activities, or may also target motor skills. OT can involve a variety of interventions, such as sensory integration therapy, fine motor skills development, and self-care training. The goal of OT is to support an individual's independence and overall quality of life.

Which therapy is right for my child?

There's no right or wrong when it comes to selecting a particular therapy style or provider. What is more important, is setting clear goals, and having a way to measure what supports are helping your child move closer to these goals. Your child should enjoy their experience with their therapists.

All therapists, regardless of discipline should have training on evidence-based approaches, and experience working on the goals you have set for your child. This is known as the clinician's individual scope of practice. Not all therapists will have the same experience or training in every area of development, so it's recommended to ask questions and find the best fit for your child based on your support needs.


Any intervention should always be approached from a person-centered perspective, focusing on the individual's unique needs and preferences, and providing support and accommodations that respect their autonomy and individuality. Many children receive a combination of ABA, OT, and Speech Therapy, and utilise a multidisciplinary approach based on each discipline's respective strengths.

bottom of page