Sticker charts, M&Ms, and a few high fives is not an ABA program! How can a parent determine what an ABA program is and if it’s being implemented correctly?
When piecing together your ABA team, the first step is to make sure that the program and treatment is under the supervision of a certified professional. The BACB (the credentialing board for Behavior Analysts) restricts the practice of ABA to certified professionals (Board Certified Behavior Analysts) or individuals under direct supervision of certified professionals (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts and Registered Behavior Technicians).
After you have your professionals in place, evaluate the program using the
7 Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis:

  1. Applied: The targets for behavior change are of social importance for your child
  2. Behavioral: The target behavior is able to be measured. It is observable and measurable
  3. Analytical: DATA!!!!! Treatment decisions are based on data and the data must show that treatment interventions led to behavior change…not chance.
  4. Technological: Treatment plans should be parent and staff friendly. Procedures should be described clearly and concisely…so clearly that anyone can step in and implement your child’s plan!
  5. Conceptually Systematic: Procedures should be based on the principles of ABA (shaping, errorless teaching, positive reinforcement, prompting methods, etc)
  6. Effective: Procedures should improve the behaviors being addressed to a practical degree.
  7. Generalized: Positive behavior change and skills should generalize across time, environments, and stimuli. Ex. Once the child has mastered identifying the color green, can the child label a green ball during therapy and a green apple at the grocery store?