Green Pediatrics Behavioral


Top ABA Therapy Pros and Cons

As per WHO, every 1 in 100 children has autism. As per CDC’s data, every 1 in 36 children has autism. These facts may sound alarming, but in recent times, there have been interventions and techniques to reduce and control the effects of autism in young individuals.

One such technique is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. As per various sources and stats, ABA therapy is known to be 90% effective. But like everything else, ABA therapy does have its own pros and cons. Before we dive into the depth, it’s very important to know what ABA therapy is.


Understanding ABA Therapy

ABA therapy should be done under the supervision of a board-certified behavior analyst, even though it is actually simple enough. ABA therapy involves knowing how human behavior works in real-life situations so that the affected individuals can be helped with intervention techniques, whenever they face a similar situation. It is a therapy that is based purely on the science and mechanism of behavioral learning.

Principles and Techniques of ABA Therapy

Although there is no textbook that tells the exact number, there are known to be 4 general principles for ABA therapy.

Pros of ABA Therapy

ABA therapy is most effective when it comes to treating or reducing the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) in young individuals. There are many pros to this therapy, some of which are:

Early Intervention Benefits

ABA therapy can help young individuals in the early stages of Autism. Early intervention against Autism’s symptoms has benefits and can help the individual with their symptoms. With early intervention, experienced therapists find out the early signs of symptoms and act accordingly.

Research and Evidence-Based Approach

There is evidence and research([Hingtgen & Bryson, 1972] being done that show that ABA therapy works and works efficiently to help individuals who are struggling with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Customization for Individual Needs

One of the best things about ABA therapy is that it is highly customized. This therapy is specifically tailored by a certified therapist to help the individual with their specific issues. When a case is studied by the therapist, they use techniques that would be the best fit in that specific case.

Targeted Behavior Modification

ABA therapy can be used to alter the behaviors of affected individuals and promote positive behaviors and reactions in individuals. This therapy is also useful in countering problem behaviors like aggression, self-harm, and tantrums.

Skill Generalization

In general, autistic children will find it hard to speak or stop themselves from throwing tantrums. In the steps toward the betterment of Autism’s symptoms, learning skills are very important. Behavioral therapists often conduct courses to learn more about a child’s pattern of development to help them in a better way.

Support for Caregivers and Families

Issues in children with autism are reduced significantly when the parents and guardians are equally involved. With ABA therapy, parents and caregivers are also involved to ensure that the behavioral correction is done off-therapy too.

Well-trained Pros

ABA therapy is only performed by individuals who are certified and trained under the supervision of board-certified behavior analysts. These therapists are well-trained to identify the symptoms of autism.

Cons of ABA Therapy

Consistency and Time Commitment

Even though ABA therapy works for most, it is a long process that takes intensity and a long-term commitment. As it is a process that takes time, one should not expect results overnight. You have to stay patient with your child’s progress and never look to rush things during the course of the therapy.

Controversies and Ethical Concerns

There have been controversies related to ABA therapy throughout the years. Some deem it as unethical as it involves unnaturally altering a child’s development phase. Some critics have their say that ABA therapy stops a developing child’s natural self-expression and that it could become dangerous for the child in the future.

Focus on Compliance vs. Understanding

ABA therapy focuses on behavioral compliance and understanding of a child. Critics argue that this focus on external behavior may not always translate to true understanding or internalization of concepts, which could limit genuine learning and social development.

Potential for Overwhelm

Since ABA therapy is intense and requires a lot of time investment, there are reasons for the individual in therapy to be overwhelmed during the therapy. Additionally, the structured nature of this therapy induces stress in children as well.

Availability and Accessibility Challenges

You may find it hard to get access to a quality ABA therapist. You will need to filter and find out an ABA therapist who is well-informed and trained in this field. Without a good ABA therapist, you may not see the desired changes.


Although there are some critics who would disagree, ABA therapy is a very effective way to reduce the effects of Autism disorder and other developmental issues in children. As with any other therapy, the results vary from person to person, but in the end, there are proper results through this therapy. Once you find a good therapist, ABA therapy’s pros will outweigh its cons surely.