Who Benefits from ABA Therapy?

January 3, 2023 | Uncategorized

Do you have a child who has been diagnosed with developmental delays? As parents, watching your beloved children struggle to keep up can be heartbreaking. If you’re looking for an effective, evidence-based intervention that focuses on helping children learn skills and develop more independence, then Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is worth considering. This type of therapeutic approach applies behavior-altering techniques that medical studies support as a safe and beneficial way to work towards positive development in kids across many disabilities.

Is ABA Therapy Only for Autism?

No. While ABA therapy is commonly used to treat children with autism, it can be beneficial for a wide range of developmental delays, including intellectual disabilities and Asperger’s, now diagnosed as autism, as well as behavioral disorders like ADHD. The goal of the therapy is to help kids work through any challenges they may have in order to develop new skills that will allow them more independence and self-sufficiency.

Who Needs ABA Therapy?

In some cases, ABA therapy may be recommended by a doctor or other professional. However, it is important to remember that this type of therapy is not just for children who have been diagnosed with a disability. Parents can also use ABA strategies to help their children develop new skills, such as self-regulation and communication. It can also provide parents with effective tools and strategies to help their children with more typical developmental issues, such as learning how to manage emotions, and understanding social cues.

ABA therapy strategies can be beneficial for a wide range of conditions, including autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, intellectual disabilities, and Asperger’s syndrome. It can also be helpful for children with anxiety and other mental health issues. While beneficial for many conditions, insurance plans typically only cover ABA therapy if the child has a diagnosis of autism.


ABA therapy can be especially helpful for children with ADHD. It provides a structured, evidence-based approach that works to change behaviors and encourage more adaptive behavior. ABA therapy focuses on strategies that teach children to regulate themselves and reduce impulsivity, as well as work through challenging activities in a more effective way. It can also encourage children to learn problem-solving skills and develop better communication strategies with parents, other adults, and peers.

ABA Therapy for ODD

ABA therapy can also be useful for children with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). It helps kids learn how to better regulate their emotions, respond to authority figures in a more positive way, and learn how to manage their impulses. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) will often use reinforcement, or rewards to help motivate children with ODD to follow rules and stay focused on tasks. Additionally, BCBAs can provide parents with strategies and guidance that will help them better manage their child’s behavior.

ABA Therapy for Intellectual Disabilities

ABA therapy can be beneficial for children with intellectual disabilities such as Down syndrome, as it focuses on teaching them how to modify their behavior in order to achieve more independent living skills. The therapy will often involve activities that help children with disabilities develop better social and communication skills, dressing skills, toileting, and other skills needed for daily functioning. Skills can be learned through a variety of teaching strategies, such as Discrete Trial Training by breaking down more complex tasks into more manageable steps.

ABA for Asperger’s Syndrome

ABA therapy can be beneficial for children with Asperger’s Syndrome, more recently considered a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). ABA therapy focuses on helping them develop communication and social skills. BCBAs will work to improve a child’s ability to understand nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, as well as helping them learn how to interact with others in a more effective way. Additionally, BCBAs can provide strategies for how to manage anxiety and other emotions in a more healthy way.

ABA Therapy for Anxiety

ABA therapy can be useful for children with anxiety, as it helps them learn how to manage their emotions and responses in a more positive way. BCBAs will work on helping the child identify triggers for their anxiety, as well as developing strategies for coping with those feelings. This can include redirection and desensitization techniques that help the child stay focused on the present moment and let go of any worries. Additionally, BCBAs will work with the child on developing problem-solving skills that can help them come up with more effective ways to handle stressful situations.

Empower Behavioral Health provides ABA services for individuals of all ages struggling with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders throughout the state of Texas. We utilize evidence-based techniques to help you, or your child, learn new skills to help with independence in daily life. We also provide autism, neurodevelopmental, and mental health diagnostic evaluations. If you are interested in learning more, or getting started, contact us today.