10 Evidence-Based ABA Therapy Techniques to Consider

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As an ABA Provider, you’re always seeking effective and evidence-based techniques to enhance your practice and better serve your clients. In the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), evidence-based therapy is crucial for ensuring positive outcomes and promoting meaningful progress. In this article, we will explore 10 evidence-based ABA therapy techniques that have been proven to be effective in promoting behavior change and skill acquisition.

Discrete Trial Training (DTT)

Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is a structured approach that breaks down skills into smaller, more manageable steps. It involves breaking a task into distinct parts and teaching each part separately before combining them into a complete skill. This technique provides individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) the opportunity to practice specific skills in a controlled environment. DTT is often used to teach skills such as language development, social interaction, and self-help skills.

Natural Environment Training (NET)

Natural Environment Training (NET) is a technique that focuses on teaching skills in natural settings, such as the home, school, or community. Unlike DTT, which primarily takes place in a controlled environment, NET capitalizes on the learner’s environment and utilizes their interests and motivations to teach new skills. By using the learner’s natural environment, BCBAs can help their clients generalize skills and apply them in real-life situations. NET is particularly effective for teaching social skills, language development, and adaptive behavior.

Pivotal Response Training (PRT)

Pivotal Response Training (PRT) is a child-centered approach that aims to develop pivotal areas of a child’s development, such as motivation, communication, and socialization. This technique focuses on teaching skills that significantly impact the individual’s overall development. PRT relies on the principles of positive reinforcement and allows individuals with ASD to have control over their learning. BCBAs using PRT provide specific and meaningful reinforcements that motivate and promote positive behaviors. PRT is highly effective for teaching language and social skills, as well as behavior management.

Parent Training

Parent training is an ABA therapy technique that involves equipping caregivers with strategies and skills to support and reinforce their child’s development and behavior progress in the home environment. Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of parent training programs for improving the social, communication, and adaptive skills of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Various parent training interventions exist, ranging from traditional face-to-face models to telehealth training delivered remotely. Parent training programs typically involve psychoeducation, direct teaching of behavior management strategies, and guidance on how to generalize skills beyond therapy sessions. These programs empower caregivers to take an active role in their child’s care and help create more consistent, supportive environments for progress.


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Task Analysis

Task Analysis is a technique that breaks down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This approach is particularly beneficial for individuals who struggle with executive functioning and organization. By breaking down tasks into smaller steps, BCBAs can help their clients better understand and complete tasks successfully. Task Analysis is often used for teaching daily living skills, academic tasks, and self-help skills.

Social Stories

Social Stories are short narratives that provide information about social situations, helping them understand expected behaviors and appropriate social responses. This technique has been found to be effective in improving social skills and reducing challenging behaviors.

Video Modeling

Video Modeling involves clients watching videos of appropriate behaviors and then imitating those behaviors. Research has shown that video modeling is effective in teaching a variety of skills, including social skills, communication skills, and self-help skills.

Functional Communication Training (FCT)

Functional Communication Training (FCT) focuses on teaching individuals with ASD alternative ways to communicate their needs and desires, reducing problem behaviors that may result from communication difficulties. This technique has been shown to be effective in promoting functional communication and reducing problem behaviors.

Self-Management

Self-management techniques involve teaching individuals with ASD to independently monitor, evaluate, and reinforce their own behavior. This technique has been found to be effective in promoting independence, self-control, and self-regulation.

Visual Supports

Visual supports involve the use of visual aids, such as schedules, visual cues, and visual prompts, to enhance understanding, predictability, and organization. Visual supports help your clients better comprehend information, follow routines, and make sense of their environment. They can be used to support communication, promote independence, and reduce anxiety or challenging behaviors. Examples of visual supports include visual schedules, social stories, visual timers, and choice boards.

Learn More

To learn more about these techniques, their benefits, and how to implement them, download our free e-book, Evidence-Based ABA Therapy Techniques.

Evidence-Based Therapy with Catalyst

Catalyst’s data collection software is a valuable tool for BCBAs looking to implement evidence-based ABA therapy techniques more efficiently. With Catalyst, you can streamline and customize data collection forms to capture specific data points aligned with ABA evidence-based practices. Generate comprehensive reports and visualizations to communicate progress and share data with caregivers, professionals, and funding agencies. Plus, automation features, like automated graph generation and session summaries, save you time on data analysis and reporting. Schedule a demo with Catalyst today to see how it can support your practice and improve client care.

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