5317 Cherry Lawn Road Huntington, West Virginia 25705

(304) 302-2078



Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is a system of treatment based on behaviorist theories which, simply put, state that behaviors can be taught through a system of rewards and consequences. The Lovaas Institute explains the concept in this way:

  • Applied - principles applied to socially significant behavior
  • Behavioral - based on scientific principles of behavior
  • Analysis - progress is measured and interventions modified


ABA methods have been used successfully with many kinds of learners of all ages, with and without disabilities, in many different settings. ABA techniques are very effective for building useful skills in learners with autism of all ages. ABA techniques are used in both structured situations and in more "natural" everyday situations. They are used to develop basic skills such as looking, listening, and imitating as well as complex skills like reading, conversing, and taking the perspective of others.


Done correctly, ABA therapy for autism is not a "one size fits all" approach. Every aspect of ABA intervention should be customized to each learner's skills, needs, interests, preferences, and family situation. Because each individual and situation is different, an ABA program for one learner might look somewhat different than a program for another learner.


Discreate trial training (DTT) consists of a series of distinct repeated lessons or trials taught one-to-one. Each trial consists of a "directive" or request for the individual to perform an action, a behavior or "response" from the person, and a consequence or "reaction" from the therapist based upon the response of the person. Early intervention is emphasized when possible. DTT is highly intensive, typically 30 - 40 hours per week, and conducted on a one-to-one basis by a trained staff in the family's home. THer person's progress is closely monitored by the collection of data on the performance of each trial. After a skill has been mastered, another skill is introduced and the mastered skill is placed on a maintenance schedule. A maintenance schedule allows for periodic checking so that the person does not regress in mastered skills.

It is important to note the specific content of the discrete trial therapy is based on an evaluation of the individual child, his needs, and his/her abilities. So, a child who is already capable of sorting shapes would not be asked to sort shapes and indefinitely for rewards - but would focus on different, more challenging social and/or behavioral tasks.


For more information contact:

Amy Ingles (304) 302-2078 ext 107

click here to e-mail Amy