Introduction to ABA Therapy

Applied Behaviour Analysis

Rather than cite research and repeating some of the wealth of information online about autism, we decided to explain in layman’s terms how ABA works.

One place to start with a concise technical description would be the entry on ABA on Wikipedia.

If you want a direct illustration of a therapy session, a lot of parents seem to be posting clips of their kids in therapy sessions on the video sharing website YouTube. Alternatively you could contact us and arrange a meeting to learn more about it.

Emily bike

A case manager’s description

As a therapist, I do two-hour sessions with children in their homes, school environment and social situations. We use ABA and discrete trial training. As case manager I develop their individualized programmes, along with the assistance of a registered Australian psychologist who makes regular visits to New Zealand.. These programmes are constantly evolving with the child as they grow and develop their skills.

We work in varied multidisciplinary teams, often consisting of speech therapists, psychologists, occupational therapists, school staff and parents – Emily Ware.

A parent’s description

Therapists come to your home and help your child learn a wide range of things: gross and fine motor skills, language games, reading and writing, comprehension, social stories. You quickly appreciate the energy, patience and range of teaching skills the therapists have. They use a lot of positive reinforcement, including rewards for completing tasks.

The programmes are very dynamic and updated regularly. Parental input is essential to the success of the child and includes providing and making resources, attending case management and generalising the skills your child is being taught.

Case management is held regularly which involves meeting with the case manager to revise the programme and accurately target the child’s needs. The case manager also helps parents work through challenges as they arise.

Visit the kids & parents part of the site to read citations from parents and example descriptions of the therapy programmes for the children.

Otago Children’s Autism Support Group Contacts


Nicola Herbert
ph: (03) 454 6567


Lynlee von Ballmoos
ph: (03) 453 4812

Grants Officer

Rachel Mortimer
ph (03) 453 0757