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Applied Behaviour Analysis

Offered in Durham and Windsor-Essex

At SPARK, ABA Services help children with autism and other developmental disabilities build skills in a broad range of areas.

SPARK offers assessment, direct treatment, consultation, and parent-training to best meet the needs of each child and their family.

What is

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)?

What is a

BCBA and a Behaviour 




About SPARK's ABA Service


How to Access ABA

Services with SPARK

What is ABA
Applied Behaviour Analysis

What is ABA?

  • ABA services are evidence-based services based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). 

  • While the science of ABA informs behavioural needs in a wide variety of areas, it is best known as a leading evidence-based approach for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

  • The goals of ABA are to help children increase positive behaviours and decrease behaviours that contribute to challenges in the life of the child and their family. 

  • ABA services include assessment, direct treatment, consultation, and parent-training to best meet the needs of

       each child and their family.

Values & Ethical Considerations

Any type of therapist plays an important role in their clients’ lives. It is imperative that ABA service providers share SPARK’s organizational values, and maintain high ethical standards to ensure that therapy is a meaningful, impactful, and positive experience for children and their families. At SPARK, it is believed that ABA services should:

  • build beneficial skills that are important to the child and their family

  • work to replace harmful behaviours with positive ones that meet the needs of the child 

  • help children better advocate for themselves 

  • promote the acceptance of natural traits and behaviors

  • encourage bodily autonomy and reasonable noncompliance 

  • assist children in learning healthy ways to calm and regulate themselves, including engaging in safe and healthy stimming behaviors

  • be play-based and enjoyable

  • involve caring and meaningful relationships between each therapist and child

  • focus on natural reinforcement, wherever possible

  • celebrate the strengths and interests of each child

  • not involve the use of aversives to modify undesirable behaviours

What is a BCBA/IT?
Psychologist for Children

What is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA)?

  • BCBAs are professionals certified at the graduate level by the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

  • As part of their certification, BCBAs must achieve specific educational requirements, complete significant supervised experience, pass a psychometrically-sound examination, and meet compliance with respect to ethical requirements and continuing education.

  • BCBAs conduct assessments, supervise direct treatment, and deliver consultation services for children and their families.

  • BCBAs’ work is guided by Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). While the science of ABA informs behavioural needs in a wide variety of areas, it is best known as a leading evidence-based approach for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. 

What is a Behaviour

  • Behaviour Therapists have training and experience in Applied Behaviour Analysis.

  • Under the supervision of a BCBA, Behaviour Therapists are responsible for providing direct intervention, implementing programs, and collecting data.

  • Behaviour Therapists engage in ongoing collaboration with the clinical team.

  • Behaviour Therapists maintain a high standard of professionalism, ethics, and client confidentiality. 

Child at Psychologist

About SPARK's ABA Services


ABA services rely on individualized assessment to guide treatment that is tailored to each child. A variety of assessment methods are utilized in order to inform the creation of an individualized treatment plan, including standardized assessments, direct observation, and the collection of information from the child’s family members.

Direct Treatment

Based on the assessment, a plan for treatment is developed in accordance with the child and family’s goals. Service providers work directly with the client to deliver programming, and build positive rapport with the client so that the therapeutic relationship is one that feels meaningful, safe, and enjoyable. In cases in which Behaviour Therapists are delivering treatment, they do so with close supervision and active involvement of the BCBA. 

Services can be ‘focused’ on one or two goals area, to allow the areas of greatest important to the child and family to be addressed at a time. This can complement the client’s participation in other activities including therapies, school, and recreation. 

Alternatively, services may be ‘comprehensive’ and address several developmental domains simultaneously. Generally, the more goals being addressed at once, the higher the intensity of services. For example, intensive behavioural intervention (also known as IBI) generally involves 20+ hours a week of direct treatment.

Consultation and Parent Training

Consultation and parent-training services involve providing education, training, and strategies to caregivers to meet the behavioural goals of the client. While consultation is typically done with parent(s)/guardian(s), it can also involve other caregivers or professionals who are involved in the care of the client. As parents and caregivers work directly with the client, with the guidance and expertise of SPARK’s service providers, consultation can be a cost-effective way to meet goals, while simultaneously building caregiver capacity.


About SPARK's ABA Service Providers

SPARK Board Certified Behaviour Analysts have Masters Degrees, and are active certificants with the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board. SPARK Behaviour Therapists are skilled behaviour technicians with a diploma/degree in a relevant discipline, and have completed educational/training programs in Autism and Behavioural Sciences. To get connected with the SPARK ABA team, contact us!

At SPARK, our Board Certified Behaviour Analysts and Behaviour Therapists are passionate about working with the pediatric population (ages 0 to 18), and are skilled and experienced in the following areas:

Child at school

Academics/School Readiness

Areas that contribute to cognitive and educational success, including:

  • Classroom readiness skills

  • Pre-academic skills (e.g. matching, sorting, puzzles)

  • Reading (e.g. alphabet, pre-reading skills, reading skills) 

  • Math (e.g. numbers, counting, addition, subtraction, less/more/equal)

  • Writing (e.g. colouring, drawing, copying, writing skills)

  • Spelling

Activities of Daily Living

Areas that enable the individual to manage their own basic physical needs, including:

  • Feeding and mealtime related skills (e.g. eating and preparing food)

  • Hygiene skills (e.g. bathing, grooming, washing hands)

  • Dressing (i.e. dressing and undressing independently)

  • Toileting (i.e. using the toilet and maintaining bathroom routines)


Areas that allow the child to effectively exchange information with others, including:

  • Expressive communication skills (e.g. asking for help, requesting, labelling, greeting and responding to greetings, language expansion, conversational skills, syntax and grammar)

  • Receptive language skills (e.g. understanding language, following directions)

  • Social communication/pragmatics (e.g. using language for different purposes, adapting language based on situational factors, learning “rules” of communication, which vary based on social/cultural factors)

Behaviour Management

Reduction of dangerous behaviours (e.g. self-injury, aggression, elopement, property destruction) through: 

  • Analysis of the function of the behaviour

  • Development of a treatment plan to reduce the child’s motivation for the problem behaviour

  • Establishment of a more appropriate behaviour to meet the child’s needs

Self-Regulation and Emotional Learning

Areas that allow the child to gain independence and maintain control of their thoughts, feelings and actions, including:

  • recognizing feelings, emotions, and states of alertness

  • managing emotions, impulses, and sensory needs

  • learning to accept feelings and respond appropriately to them

  • improving the ability to solve conflicts and problems

  • expanding the use of strategies to self-regulate 

  • gaining mindfulness and the ability to be engaged in the moment

  • developing self-advocacy skills (i.e. building self-awareness, understanding personal needs, and communicating those needs to others)

Social Skills

Areas that help with positive interactions with peers and adults, including:

  • initiating conversations

  • responding to others

  • playing with and engaging in activities with others

  • taking turns and sharing

  • understanding interpersonal skills and social boundaries, based on the nature of a relationship

Access ABA

How to Access ABA Services with SPARK

To discuss how ABA services may benefit your child, or if you'd like to get set up with services, please contact us today!

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