Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) team works with children from 1 to 20 with autism spectrum disorder and their families in an effort to increase their overall quality of life.

As a gold standard of evidence-based treatments, ABA is the science of learning and behavior – how behavior works, how it’s affected by environment and how learning takes place. ABA interventions focus on improving specific behaviors, such as social skills, communication, reading, and academics, as well as adaptive learning skills like motor dexterity, hygiene, grooming, domestic capabilities, punctuality and job competence. The goal is to increase behaviors that are helpful while at the same time minimizing and eliminating problem behaviors by teaching replacement skills/behaviors.

ABA Interventions have been proven effective for both children and adults with a variety of needs and in a variety of settings including schools, workplaces, homes, community activities and clinics.

What can ABA do?

  • Teach skills to replace problem behaviors so your child can learn what “to do” instead of what “to stop doing”.
  • Increase positive behavior by using reinforcement procedures that increase on-task behavior, social opportunities and overall independence, participation, and functioning while also reducing behaviors like self-injury or stereotypy.
  • Reduce interfering behavior by teaching replacement behaviors that function and have the same goal as the interfering behavior.
  • Maintain behaviors by teaching self-management and self-monitoring procedures that help maintain and generalize existing social skills.
  • Change responses to your child’s behavior by giving you and everyone who supports your child the tools to respond effectively to your child’s behavior.
  • Increase your child’s academic, social, and self-help skills.
  • Improve your child’s ability to focus on tasks, comply with tasks and increase motivation to perform.
  • Improve cognitive skills by helping your child be more available for learning new skills.
  • Generalize or transfer behavior from one situation or response to another.


What is the process of ABA treatment?

You can expect this process that we follow with every child and family, however, our treatment plans are all individualized based on the child and family’s needs:

Assessments: A behavioral consultant will work with your child, you and the caregivers to to complete a series of assessments by - observing the challenging behaviors that are occurring, determining their cause, assessing the individual’s current skill levels and understanding the gaps that maybe the underlying cause of the problematic behavior.

Personalized treatment plan: A personalized treatment plan is developed that takes the specific needs of the individual, explores all treatment options for target behavior, monitors implementation and progress of the plan.

Implementation of the plan: The behavior health technician implements the treatment plan, collects data based on the agreed upon goals and methods, all with the guidance of the behavioral consultant. All caregivers and family members will be trained on the treatment strategies supporting the new skills.

Progress and outcomes: Progress is continually tracked and monitored by the behavior Consultant so that adjustments to treatment can be made as needed.


To learn more about how ABA is being implemented at PHMC, please reach out to Nora Fitzgerald at or 215.839.0942.