How a Behavior Analyst determines how many hours of services to recommend.

March 17, 2023

How the Assessment Process Works for Determining ABA Therapy Hours? 


When a child is diagnosed with autism, a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) will conduct an assessment to determine their individual needs and develop a treatment plan. This treatment plan will include the number of hours of applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy the child should receive on a weekly basis.

To determine the appropriate number of ABA therapy hours, the BCBA will consider several factors, including:

  • The Child’s Age: Younger children typically require more ABA therapy hours than older children. This is because younger children have more developmental needs that require intervention.
  • The Severity of the Child’s Autism: Children with more severe autism typically require more ABA therapy hours than those with milder forms of the disorder.
  • The Child’s Individual Needs: The BCBA will assess the child’s individual strengths and weaknesses to determine the specific areas that require intervention. For example, a child who struggles with communication may require more ABA therapy hours focused on speech and language.
  • The Family’s Schedule and Resources: The BCBA will also consider the family’s schedule and resources when developing the treatment plan. For example, if the family can only accommodate a certain number of ABA therapy hours per week, the treatment plan will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Research and Best Practices: Finally, the BCBA will consider research and best practices in the field of ABA therapy when developing the treatment plan. This includes the recommended number of ABA therapy hours for children with autism based on current research and evidence-based practices.

Based on these factors, the BCBA will recommend the appropriate number of ABA therapy hours for the child. Typically, children with autism receive anywhere from 10 to 40 hours of ABA therapy per week, depending on their individual needs and circumstances



Conclusion: Importance of Tailoring ABA Therapy for Maximum Progress in Children with Autism

In conclusion, a board-certified behavior analyst determines the appropriate number of ABA therapy hours for a child with autism based on several factors, including their age, severity of the disorder, individual needs, family schedule and resources, and research and best practices. By tailoring the ABA therapy program to the child’s individual needs and circumstances, the BCBA can help the child make significant progress in their development and reach their full potential.

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