Frequently Asked Questions
What is ABA?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a science devoted to the understanding and improvement of socially significant human behavior.  Behaviors are described by everything that people do; talking, walking, eating, etc.   Behavior Analysts take a scientific approach for discovering variables that influence behaviors.  Through careful measurement and observations of the behavior of interest and the environmental factors involved, a behavior analyst will be able to make meaningful behavior improvements while understanding the factors that are responsible for that improvement.  After discovering the functions of the behavior, a Behavior Analyst will be able to design, implement, and evaluate behavior change programs/treatment plan.

ABA is effective in treating a variety of behaviors such as academics, social skills, language, life skills, feeding, potty training, and work skills.
Over 500 articles have been published, from 1985 to 2007, that demonstrate the effectiveness of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in the treatment of autism.

Read for more information about the effectiveness of ABA

What are therapy sessions like?

At Building Blocks, each case has an ABA tutor designated as the lead person for your family. Each Associate has at least a bachelor’s degree and experience providing services to children with autism. All cases are overseen by a board-certified Behavior Analyst or Board-Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst.

Sessions for in-home ABA usually are scheduled in two blocks, each consisting of three hours. The research is clear that longer sessions result in greater retention. If this is not convenient for your family, please bring this up during the intake meeting.  The first sessions will be designated to “pairing” with your child.  This is the time when the child will become acquainted with the therapist and establish trust and a relationship.  The following sessions will include a variety of approaches to teach the goals in the child’s treatment plan.

A parent or legal guardian is required to be present and available in the home throughout the therapy session(s).

Except in cases of emergency, 24-48 hours notice is required for all canceled appointments. Payment is required for any missed appointment outside of this policy. Insurance carriers are not responsible for missed-appointment fees.

We request that families give us at least two weeks notice of significant changes in their plans for ABA sessions scheduling in order to facilitate consistency in service delivery.

The universal standard for therapy, be it the insurance standards or the professional standards of various organizations like the APA, ASHA, etc., is that a therapy “hour” is 45-50 minutes of direct contact with the patient and 10-15 minutes devoted to required record keeping and other administrative requirements. Typically, for a 3-hour in-home therapy session, our staff take about 10 minutes to arrange the materials prior to commencing direct therapy with the child and about 15 minutes at the end to record data, tidy the setting, and discuss the session with the parent.

The standard of care outlined in the ABA International’s Revised Guidelines for Consumers of Applied Behavior Analysis Services to Individuals with Autism includes supervision of therapists on an ongoing basis, program consultation, program review, and program revision as services performed by a BCBA. These services are necessary for a program to meet minimum professional standards and are not optional.

What settings can ABA be used?

ABA can be used in all settings the child will come in contact with.  We provide services in the home, school, and community.  The goal of our programs are for the child to generalize the taught skills throughout the day in all settings.

What are some techniques used in ABA?

After observing the child, a treatment plan will be developed. A Behavior Analyst will use a variety of techniques to teach specific skills. Pivotal Response Training, Discrete Trial Training, Natural Environment Training, Task Analysis, Reinforcements, Prompting and various Visual Supports are some of the techniques employed to teach a skill. Following is a brief explanation of each technique:

Pivotal Response Training: A loosely structured, naturalistic intervention that relies on naturally occurring teaching opportunities and naturally occurring consequences. In PRT, the child initiates and it tends to be based on play. It focuses on the manipulation of external events to create an opportunity for learning. This technique is most effective in improving language, social, academic, and play skills.


Instructor: Hides stuffed animal
Child: ” I want animal”
Instructor: Gives a stuffed animal as a positive reinforcer

Discrete Trial Training (DTT): A  1:1 structured instruction of presenting learning in a systematic, planned, and controlled manner. The goal of DTT is to increase the opportunities that the skill can be taught; purposefully and rapidly attaining mastery on a skill. It consists of the therapist’s presentation of an instruction, the child’s response, the consequence, and a short pause between the consequence and the next instruction. A reward system is critical to the success of a DTT program.


Instruction: Shows card of monkey, asks “What is this?”
Response: “Monkey”
Consequence: Child gets a high five and smile from the instructor.
There would then be a pause before another instruction is given.

Natural Environment Training (NET): A teaching technique that is used “away from the table.” The therapist will manipulate the child’s motivation and environment in order to increase the probability of the child using the skill learned. NET uses the child’s interests to consolidate the skills they have learned. All skills taught in a discrete setting can be generalized to the natural environment. Indeed, many skills are taught most efficaciously within the natural environment e.g., play skills, social skills, and social language skills.

Task Analysis: Refers to breaking complex behaviors down into their small components/steps. This technique particularly helps in learning complex, chained behaviors and functional skills.


The behavior of washing hands involves the following steps:
1. Turn tap on
2. Wet hands
3. Put soap on hands
4. Rub hands
5. Rinse hands
6. Dry hands with a towel

Reinforcement: A technique used to motivate a child to learn. It has been found that reinforcers delivered immediately after a child’s appropriate response will increase the likelihood of that response to occur again. Reinforcements can be anything that may motivate a child to want to learn e.g., physical interactions such as tickles and hugs, or tangible rewards such as M&Ms, favorite toys, or having a break.

Prompts are used to help children to acquire new skills. Prompts are given in a hierarchy from either least or most dissenting; verbal prompt, gestural prompt, physical prompt. Prompts can be given at the same time as the instruction, during the child’s response or after the child’s incorrect response to show them the expected response.

Visual support:  Especially useful for individuals that are visual learners and have difficulty processing verbal and/or auditory information. Visual tools facilitate expressive language and language comprehension. They also assist individuals in understanding their social and physical environments by providing structure to explain task expectations or daily events.

Financial & Insurance Information

Currently, we accept the following insurances:

Private Pay clients can reach us for more information on rates by calling us at 267-597-1029

We accept all major credit cards. Payment is due by the end of the month. Payments can be made via mail, phone, or pay pal. Direct payment may also be available through your bank.

There is a $40 Returned Check fee for all checks returned by the bank.