Parent Resources

Resources For Parents

Thank you for visiting  We are excited to have you here! Please see below for some of the most common questions we get from parents and helpful resources for reach question.  If you have additional questions please don't hesitate to contact us at [email protected].  


What is ABA?

ABA is an acronym for Applied Behavior Analysis. ABA refers to the application of behavioral science in order to help shape socially significant behaviors. The aim of ABA is to promote a higher quality of life for the individuals and families within an ABA provider's care. There are several sub-specialties of ABA. A summary of these can be found here



How did ABA start?

ABA started with a psychologist at UCLA, named Ivar Lovaas. Lovaas applied the analysis of behavior, which started with John Watson, J.R Kantor and B.F. Skinner, to autism. Over time ABA has shifted to a more naturalistic approach. A brief timeline of the development of behavioral analysis, starting in 1913 to 2009 can be found here. A brief overview of Autism, as this was the first diagnosis treated with ABA, can be found here


What is Evidence-based?

Evidence-based is of great importance when determining therapy approaches especially for children with Autism.  Evidence-based treatments and therapies have been thoroughly reviewed by the scientific community and found to produce effective and reliable results when working with kids with autism.  For more information on this process and a list of current evidence based therapies and interventions please visit:  Criteria for analyzing whether a treatment is evidence-based or not can be found here. Additionally, this report by the National Clearinghouse, can be a great gauge.  


What does an ABA therapy session look like?

An ABA therapy session can be conducted in almost any setting; however, the most common settings are the home of the individual receiving services, or an ABA clinic. ABA clinics are dedicated spaces that allow for the holistic needs of a client to be met during session, yet they differ from a daycare center.  Similar to a dentist model, the majority of therapeutic sessions are led by Behavior Analysis Interventionists while the programming decisions, goals, and therapeutic path are determined by a Behavior Analyst.  Within Oregon Behavior Analysis Interventionists and Behavior Analysts are licensed to practice with the Oregon Health Licensing Office.


How do I find an ABA provider?

A great place to start your search is here. Additionally, job search websites, such as Indeed and Glassdoor, offer a wealth of reviews. If you have insurance, they may provide a directory that includes ABA agencies. Using insurance can reduce the out-of-pocket cost of ABA, especially if the agency is in-network with your insurance.


Is it better for my child to work with one primary therapist, or is there a benefit to working with multiple ABA providers?

There are advantages and disadvantages to maintaining an individual ABA practitioner versus employing multiple practitioners using the same core data. On the one hand, having a direct practitioner can make therapeutic relationships easier, and can allow for quicker and less interrupted improvements for individuals who are new to treatment or who are still struggling in making behavioral changes.

On the other hand, having exposure to multiple providers can give a child the opportunity to practice their new skills with persons who are trained and capable but are less familiar. This gives a more advanced patient a more “real world” experience as a child will need to be able to navigate a busy world and often with people the child is only moderately familiar with or even totally unfamiliar with while still ensuring that the child is supported by trained practitioners using the same tracking data.  In the end, the right style will depend on your child’s current level of development and relevant goals.   


What providers (e.g. dentists/pediatricians) are open to working with ABA services?

Several providers are open to working with ABA service providers! Most professionals understand that there are challenges that are specific to your child’s diagnosis and most professionals recognize that their own specialty is insufficiently trained to handle a child with unique challenges. This type of cross support affords your child the best opportunity to engage in the world and receive necessary services without asking a person untrained in special needs to guess as to what the best approach would be.  Here is a great place to start your search. If you would like to provide your healthcare provider with information, you can find some guides and toolkits here.


How do I know if ABA is right for my kid?

Deciding what is the right treatment route for you and your kid is a deeply personal decision. That said, ABA has been demonstrated to assist a variety of conditions and in a variety of circumstances. Most often, every child with special needs will benefit from ABA.  A guide to these can be found here.  


What are other therapeutic options outside of ABA?

There are several therapeutic options in addition to ABA that are available to kids with Autism. A few evidence based options are found here.  Many of these therapies can be done while receiving ABA therapy (e.g. Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy etc.) 


Are there any support groups for caregivers/families of those receiving services?

The Autism Society of Oregon hosts support groups and they have regional lists here. Facebook and Meetup also have a few support groups for caregivers of those receiving services. 


Do you have resources for Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)? 


Here is a video training from an IEP advocate: Passcode: Xc?S946V   


Are there any additional resources for parents?

Yes! There are several resources out there, here are a few:


Cerebral Palsy Guide -national organization dedicated to educating Individuals and families about cerebral palsy. 



Still have questions?

Please reach out to ORABA at [email protected] for more information on ABA therapy here in Oregon