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An Inside Look into ABA Therapy

BY YOUR SIDE is proud to have a great team of ABA clinicians working with our clients to help them achieve more positive outcomes. With 8 therapy centers across Illinois, Georgia, and Colorado, and more coming soon, our multidisciplinary approach has helped hundreds of individuals and families be more successful. Since all of our clients are unique, they each have a specialized therapy team that collaborates to develop individualized therapy programs based on each client’s specific needs and skillset to ensure they have the best chance of accomplishing their milestones and goals. To help grasp the concept of ABA therapy and what it looks like in a practical application, we spoke with Ashley, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and Sr. Manager of Clinical Services, and Hannah, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, to gain insight into the preparation, collaboration, facilitation, and potential outcomes of an ABA therapy session here at BYS!

Preparation: There can be multiple clinicians involved in a client’s therapy program depending on their needs. These clinicians may include Behavior Technicians (BTs), Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs), Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), and Occupational Therapists (OTs). Though these clinicians don’t usually share the same sessions, they record valuable information for the team’s reference to keep track of progress and identify skills for improvement.

To begin preparing for an ABA therapy session, BTs and RBTs use the client’s previous session sheets to review what skills need to be learned, any updates on added items, or goals that may have been changed. In addition, the BT or RBT will review the client’s information page, which includes important details like feeding schedules, bathroom routine, mode of communication, and preferred items. Once all the client’s notes and information have been reviewed, the therapist collects any necessary materials to work on the targeted skills for the session and then begins working with the client.

Collaboration & Facilitation: Since every treatment plan is specifically developed for each client, most ABA therapy sessions are unique. The BCBA develops a treatment plan that best encompasses the needs of the client to create an effective session and is consistently analyzing data to update or add new targets. Although ABA sessions are individualized, therapists work on a variety of essential skills such as:

  • Social skills
  • Communication
  • Learner readiness
  • Behavior management

These essential skills are usually worked on with the clients throughout various therapy spaces and rooms within the center. This method helps the client learn how to transition between tasks, share their space with others, and become comfortable working in multiple environments as in their daily lives outside of the center.

Along with ABA therapy at BY YOUR SIDE, we also offer speech therapy, occupational therapy, BYS Academy school readiness program, toilet training, and more. Most of our clients receive a combination of services, so collaboration is essential. Our BCBAs, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Occupational Therapists team up to create optimized therapy programs that ensure each client is receiving consistent and high-quality lesson plans and skill-building during each session.

For example, if a client is struggling with accomplishing behavioral goals or transitions with their Occupational Therapist, their BCBA would be able to offer strategies from an ABA perspective that can be incorporated into those occupational therapy sessions to help improve the behavior, making for more effective sessions. On the other hand, our Speech-Language Pathologists are responsible for setting the major communication goals for each client and providing guidance on the targeted skills to include in their program and sessions that will help ensure each client can reach their goals. If a client regularly shows challenging behaviors that are impeding progress during any session, a cotreat would be recommended. In this case, an ABA therapist will join the speech therapy or occupational therapy sessions for behavioral support and help assure the flow of each session is smooth, productive, and beneficial.

Once every therapy session is completed, the therapist records all their notes for each client and submits them for the team’s reference and analysis to be considered for preparation for future sessions.

Results: As more sessions are completed, additional data is collected, which our BCBAs can analyze to track each client’s progress or target specific skills that may need improvement. Each BCBA and client will have different criteria for mastering a skill. This is because every client is unique, so their accuracy and progress timeline for particular skills are unique as well. Each BCBA analyzes the valuable data to gain a clearer understanding of each client’s progress and if necessary, makes modifications to better fit the client and optimize their progress.

Also, each client needs to be successful in generalizing each skill, meaning they should be able to apply every skill learned in any other natural environment, and with many other people. Therefore, an important part of each BCBA’s role is Caregiver Education. It is imperative that all parents and caregivers are part of the therapy team and aware of all skills being worked on so that the progress that each child makes in the center, can more easily be translated to the other environments at home, school, and in the community. BCBAs will collaborate with teachers and special education coordinators at school as well to observe and take note of other potential skills that may need to be addressed for the child to be successful in a learning environment. This type of communication, observation, and analysis are what determine the progress the client has made in their treatment plan and ultimately what determines their graduation from BY YOUR SIDE.

Every client at BY YOUR SIDE has a dedicated team of expert therapists to help them succeed and achieve their goals. With a customized and thorough treatment plan that is consistently being analyzed, and effective collaboration between all clinicians, caregivers, and school staff, our clients have the required support system needed to learn and grow. How can your child get started with BY YOUR SIDE? Give us a call for a free consultation at (866) 429-7543 or visit for more information!

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