Because ABA therapy is not one-size-fits-all, ABA therapists must evaluate each client. They have to figure out what the person knows, how he or she behaves, and which goals are most important to work on. Talking to parents and teachers, observing a child in a controlled environment, or shadowing a student at school may be part of the information-gathering process.
Once ABA therapists establish objectives, they come up with ways to promote desirable behavior. For instance, if the goal is for a child to stop smashing toys when he or she wants attention, they may reward him or her for gently tugging on someone’s sleeve instead. ABA therapists keep detailed records of actions in order to figure out what is working and what needs tweaking. They may turn their data into graphs in order to get a better picture of progress.
Parents, teachers, and other caregivers have a vested interest in what an ABA therapist discovers. ABA therapists show these people how to apply behavioral therapy to achieve results. This information may make a student more teachable or home life more pleasant. ABA therapists are expected to regularly take part in meetings to discuss concerns and answer questions.