Behind the scenes of ABA

 A little while ago I wrote about 20 activities your child can work on in ABA.

If you’re not familiar with ABA, it is Applied Behavioral Analysis.

You can check out my last post on this topic and how it’s been amazing for my son.

That post has been one of my most popular ones and so I’ve decided to explore a little more on the topic. 

I gave just 20 activities that your child can work on, but there are so much more!

How do they come up with what to work on?

I asked our amazing BCBA (Board Certified Behavioral Analyst) and she kindly provided a little breakdown of how they plan it out.

What you have to realize is the success your child will have absolutely has to do with how good your vendor is and how good the person working with your child is. 

That’s right! 

They should be working WITH YOUR CHILD, and work THE WAY YOUR CHILD LEARNS.

This is so important!!

If ABA is something that is hurting your child and not helping then it is being done incorrectly.

Make sure you and your child are comfortable with the person that is working with them. It is vital in your child making progress and learning.


Examples of Skills Learned in ABA


Toilet training, hand washing, dressing, novel foods, bathing, self care.


Imitation, categorization, pre-academic skills such as colors, numbers, letter ID, memory, visual processing.


Greetings, independent play, turn taking, sharing, manners, appropriate volume, following directions.


PECS, verbal imitation, receptive/expressive object labeling, non-verbal communication, 

Fine Motor: 

Three point grasp, pointing, drawing/coloring, cutting paper, buttoning buttons, 

Gross Motor: 

Ball play, riding a bike, maneuvering play equipment, balancing, jumping, racing, other whole body movements.

Other Skills That Can Be Worked On


Helping children with experiences such as doctor’s visits, tolerating showers, tolerating different clothing materials or different types of footwear, being around different animals/pets.

Community outings:

Learning how to behave appropriately and safely in various locations and social settings. Examples are the library, church, park, grocery store).

Emotional regulation:

Introducing coping skills.Identifying how different actions affect others.

Cognitive concepts:

Learning opposites, how and why, more and less.


Managing vitamins and medications, homework routines, any other time of day routines, chore routines.

Social Settings:

Learning to discriminate between types of people in the community and what type of information can be shared with each. Learning who are “workers” or “community helpers”. Who is safe to talk to and who isn’t.

Play Dates:

Play dates, outings and other social opportunities to build social skills.

Anything else you can think of that your child needs help with ABA should be able to help.

Remember that YOU are the PARENT and you are in charge. They may be professionals but you know your child better than anyone and you are your Childs advocate.

I hope this list of skills helps you get some ideas.

You can get a free PDF printable with the list of all these skills. Just sign up below.

What kind of skills has ABA worked on with your child?

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13

6 thoughts on “Behind the scenes of ABA”

  1. I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I have one Autistic son who is 4 and has Diabetes as well. I’m trying to get him into ABA therapy out here it’s impossible. Since he was diagnosed at 3 I’ve been trying and keep being told no no no. It’s so fraustrating. They always say there are waiting list and there closed or they don’t take my insurance. I think they just don’t want to deal with him because the diabetes makes it harder but it’s so important that he starts his therapy. He needs speech feeding, OT therapy too and has had very little any suggestions on what I should do. Now my 2year old is showing signs too.

    • Hi Amber,

      Thank you so much for visiting my little blog. I’m so sorry you’re going through such a hard time getting services. Have you contacted your state health and human services? Were they of any help at all?

      In the meantime you can always work with your children while they are at home with you. You can search through my blog and find some ideas. If you need help with something in particular you can always ask me and I can see if I can help in any way.

      My son got diagnosed with ASD and ADHD when he was 6! Before we had all the answers I worked with him on my own to help him. It’s hard work but it’s worth it.

      I hope that your child get’s the services that he deserves.

      If I can help in any way mama, let me know.


  2. Hi Kristina,
    My name is Kate. I live in Manila, Philippines. I have a 6 yr old son diagnosed with ASD. I know that he has other things like ADHD but the doctor focused on the ASD diagnosis. Anyway, it’s so much difficult to get services here because insurances don’t cover consultation on dev ped, psychiatrist, etc neither do the services for required therapies. Basically all of help we need MUST be coming from our own pocket. Not that I’m complaining but I’m being realistic on the predicament of not having support that we need. Besides, we also have to spend on other basic needs.
    It’s been a while since I’m scouting all over Internet for DIY Speech, OT, and ABA therapy. I thought it was easy and doable. The problem arises whenever I’m devoting my energy and time researching , planning, and execution my son goes impulsive and very handful. I can’t move on from what I’ve been doing because he’s always off the wall and need my 101% attention. It’s pretty tough. Anyway, I don’t know where this post is all about but I commend you for your advocate. I’ve downloaded your list and it’s fantastic! I hope we can get through this. I just want to help him as long as I’m capable. Have a nice day!

    • Hi Katrina,

      I’m so glad you found this blog post useful. Please let me know what else I can help you with! I have a few different printables that may be helpful. I hope your son gets the services he needs. Even if it’s just from you right now. You can do it mama!


  3. Hi there! I wanted to say I am a registered line technician at an ABA clinic. I just wanted to say you perfectly described what we do on a daily bases with our kiddos! Over the past year I have seen firsthand how important ABA is and involved parents like you are such a key factor in success stories! Our main goal in mind every single day where I work is independence!

    • Thank you for your supporting words. This means so much to me. My son and I have had a great experience with ABA. Thank you for all the work that you do Kaitlyn.


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