Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy in Northern Virginia

father and son playing basketball

At Therapeutic Alliance, we see your child’s potential, just like you do. That’s why we work with your child to develop the skills they need to succeed. We’ve seen how ABA therapy has changed the lives of many children with autism and related disabilities in the Northern Virginia area. That said, we believe in our methods and values that have shown results time and time again. 

Such values include positivity, adaptability, collaboration, and transparency. We understand ABA therapy is an ongoing learning process not only for your child but for us and you as well. That said, we include family training as part of the service, so your child can continue to learn and grow for the rest of their life.

Below, we define ABA therapy, explain how it works, and discuss what an ABA program involves:

What Is ABA Therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)—or the science of learning and behavior—is a therapy used for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related disorders. ABA uses respondent and operant conditioning to incentivize pro-social and appropriate behaviors, and provide appropriate replacements for  problem behaviors.

ABA therapy focuses on increasing vital everyday skills such as; language and communication, social and emotional responding, memory, attention, daily living skills, appropriate behaviors, and coping mechanisms through specified teaching procedures and positive reinforcement. In the end, the goal of ABA therapy is to build your child’s autonomy and capacity for success now and in the future. ABA looks to help neurodiverse children learn and adapt to function in a world designed for the neurotypical. 

ABA therapy directs its teaching procedures in a way that will best fit your child, so they learn in a comfortable and supportive way. Effective ABA programs are tailored to the recipient— structured to address the unique requirements of that individual. For instance, ABA therapy can be provided in many different locations—at home, school, a community center, or otherwise—and in a group or one-on-one setting.

Regardless, a qualified and trained behavior analyst (BCBA) is assigned to your child—learning, addressing, and tracking their strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and circumstances.

How Does ABA Therapy Work?

ABA therapy consists of many techniques for interpreting and adapting behavior, the most fundamental being positive reinforcement and antecedent, behavior, consequence (A-B-C) methods.

The former, positive reinforcement, is the process of following positive behaviors with meaningful rewards to the child, whether it be verbal praise, a toy or stuffed animal, access to TV or a playground, or otherwise. Gradually, these rewards encourage the repetition of good conduct or valuable skills and drive impactful behavior change. Eventually, these rewards are slowly faded out, allowing the child to continue to engage in these behaviors as part of their daily repertoire. 

The second of which, A-B-C techniques, involve learning about the antecedent—what happens before—and the consequence—what happens after—surrounding particular behaviors. Determining this pattern is key in changing all behavior—good, challenging, or neutral. 

What Does an ABA Program Involve?

Your child’s BCBA begins by carrying out a thorough assessment of their unique personality, interests, tendencies, strengths, weaknesses, and more. The results, including age, ability level, and input from the family, are then used to identify the child’s tailored treatment goals.

Such goals commonly include:

  • Language, communication, and social skills
  • Emotional responding skills 
  • Focus, memory, and learning techniques
  • Everyday motor skills
  • Personal care and cleanliness methods
  • Appropriate play and recreational behaviors
  • Coping strategies and replacement responses for challenging behaviors 

These goals are then integrated into a detailed instruction plan, breaking each down into a gradual, step-by-step process. By taking on each goal a small step at a time, the recipient can graduate from simple to more complex skills consistently, predictably, and successfully.

Along the way, the BCBA and participating direct therapists continually monitor your child’s progress, collecting pertinent data each session. They meet regularly with you to discuss progress and the road ahead. From there, plans and goals can be adjusted if needed, and progress continues until your child is deemed sufficiently independent.

Discover Outstanding ABA Therapy Services for Your ASD Child in Northern Virginia

Therapeutic Alliance offers professional ABA Therapy to children with special needs in the Northern Virginia, area. Our highly trained therapists, behavioral analysts, and staff are willing to provide the care and attention your ASD child needs to function successfully and live a fulfilling life. For more information on ABA therapy and if your child is eligible, fill out an online form or call us today at (833) 319-0526.