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Focused ABA Therapy

What is Focused Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy?

Focused ABA therapy is treatment provided directly to the client for a limited number of behavioral targets. Focused ABA intervention has very specific targets and often requires fewer hours of services. It is not restricted by age, cognitive level, or co-occurring conditions. 

Focused ABA can help your child acquire and strengthen…

  • Social skills

  • Communication skills

  • Self-help skills

  • Academic remediation

  • Leisure skills


Focused ABA treatment may involve increasing socially appropriate behavior or reducing problem behavior as the primary target. Children who need to acquire skills (for example communication, tolerating change in environments and activities, self-help, social skills) are also appropriate for Focused ABA.


Examples of key functional skills include, but are not limited to the following; social communication skills, compliance with medical and dental procedures, sleep hygiene, self-care skills, safety skills, and independent leisure skills (for example, appropriate participation in family and community activities). Examples of severe problem behaviors requiring focused intervention include, but are not limited to the following: self-injury, aggression, threats, pica, elopement, feeding disorders, stereotypic motor or vocal behavior, property destruction, noncompliance and disruptive behavior, or dysfunctional social behavior. 

When the focus of treatment involves increasing socially appropriate behavior, treatment may be delivered in either an individual or small-group (social skills group) format. When conducted in a social skills group, typically developing peers or children with similar diagnoses may participate in the session. 


Our Program at BrainPower Neurodevelopmental Center

At BrainPower, our focused ABA therapy program uses evidence-based behavior analysis to teach skills across a limited number of areas of targeted behaviors, such as improving social or communication skills or reducing dangerous behavior. Within the focused ABA model, our team at BrainPower addresses a limited number of behavior targets. Some examples could be focusing primarily on social skills deficits, addressing a challenging behavior, or addressing independence in self-care. For example, focused ABA therapy may aim to decrease problematic behaviors while simultaneously strengthening your child’s ability to utilize more appropriate and functional behaviors.


Therapy hours vary based on our BCBA’s (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) comprehensive assessment, corresponding therapy recommendations, and a determination of the therapy schedule that will best meet the needs of your family.


·      At BrainPower, focused treatments can range from 2 to 10 hours per week of direct therapy. Focused therapy can also be appropriate for children who are reaching most age-appropriate milestones but need help in one or two areas.

·      Focused ABA treatment may be appropriate to help your child acquire or strengthen developmentally appropriate social skills, self-help skills, and advanced language and communication skills. These skills are often fundamental to maintaining health, social inclusion and increased independence. 


When the goal of treatment is to introduce a desired behavior, particularly relating to social skills, treatment may be delivered either in a parent-child-therapist session or in a small-group/social skills  format consisting of peers with similar diagnoses. Together, our BCBA and her team will practice the behavioral targets with your child and work toward generalization of the desired skills in multiple environments.

Additionally, if a goal of treatment is to reduce inappropriate behavior, our BCBA will determine which situations are most likely to create a problem behavior and can begin to understand the “purpose” of the behavior (also known as the “function” of behavior). This allows our BCBA to develop a treatment plan that alters the environment to reduce your child’s motivation for the problem behavior and/or establish a new and more appropriate behavior to replace the problem behavior.

Focused Therapy at BrainPower

Small Group: Groups of learners (2-5) will receive programming for group learning and social skills.  These groups will be tailored to each group, and each learner will have 3-5 goals that they work on in each group (e.g., attending, raising hand, initiating play, etc.).  Groups will be led by an RBT, and programming will be created and supervised by our BCBA.  An additional RBT will support small groups to provide prompting and collect data to monitor group progress.   Learners will receive small group weekly as part of a focused ABA package.
Intensive Skill Building: Learners will receive intensive skill programming with an RBT supervised by a BCBA.  Learners will receive skill building between 1-5 hours weekly as part of a focused ABA package.  
Intensive Behavior Reduction: Learners will receive intensive behavior reduction programming with an RBT supervised by a BCBA.  Learners will receive behavior intervention plan implementation between 1-5 hours weekly as part of our focused ABA package.  
Family Consultation: Families of learners will meet with a BCBA weekly or monthly to work on generalizing skills to home and community settings.  Parents will implement programs developed by BCBA and receive modeling and feedback on implementation. 
Caregiver Training: Groups of caregivers will meet with a BCBA monthly to receive specific training on ABA principles and techniques.  Modeling and role play will be implemented.

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