The Parents’ Role in ABA Therapy

Parental involvement is an essential component of ABA therapy, as it can help maximize the effectiveness of the treatment and improve outcomes for the child.

Alan Hollander
January 22, 2024

The Parents’ Role in ABA Therapy

Parental involvement is an essential component of ABA therapy, as it can help maximize the effectiveness of the treatment and improve outcomes for the child.


As a parent of a child diagnosed with autism, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about ABA therapy. In short, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapeutic approach based on the theories of how behaviors are learned. It involves breaking down complex skills into smaller, more manageable parts and using positive reinforcement to increase desired behaviors and decrease unwanted behaviors.

Parental involvement is an essential component of ABA therapy, as it can help maximize the effectiveness of the treatment and improve outcomes for the child. We’re going to explore the importance of your role as a parent in the ABA process, and the ways in which you can help by getting involved.

Why is a parent’s involvement in ABA therapy important?

  1. Consistency: ABA therapy typically involves the use of behavior plans that are designed to be implemented consistently across different settings and by various caregivers. When you are involved in the therapy, you can ensure that the behavior plan is being followed consistently at home, which helps reinforce your child’s progress and reduces the likelihood of regression.
  2. Generalization: One of the goals of ABA therapy is to help children apply the skills they learn in therapy to other settings and situations. You can help facilitate this process by encouraging your child to practice their skills in real-life situations outside of therapy sessions.
  3. Family-centered approach: ABA therapy is often most effective when it is implemented using a family-centered approach that involves collaboration between the therapist and the child’s family. When you, as parents, are clued in on the game, you can provide valuable insights into your child’s behavior and needs, which can help inform the treatment plan and ensure that it is tailored to your child’s individual needs and pace.
  4. Your child’s increased motivation and participation in therapy sessions: Especially at the beginning, when your child and his RBT are still getting to know each other, your participation is vital. Having Mom or Dad with them makes your child feel more secure and open to learning, and your interest in their world gives your child more motivation to succeed and make you proud.
  5. Improved parent-child relationship: Participating in ABA sessions with your child can help improve the parent-child relationship. Spending this time with your child provides opportunities for positive interactions and shared experiences. This bonding experience helps promote trust and communication between you and your child.

As we can see, parental involvement in ABA therapy is key to maximizing its success and achieving long-term positive outcomes.  

Next up are some tips and examples of how you can get involved.

Ways Parents Can Get Involved in ABA Therapy

  • Communicating regularly with the therapist and asking questions about the therapy plan
  • Observing therapy sessions and practicing techniques at home
  • Implementing behavior intervention plans and reinforcement strategies outside of therapy sessions
  • Participating in parent training and education programs

Challenges to Parental Involvement in ABA Therapy

All that said, it is sometimes difficult to actually be that good Dad or Mom who takes an active role in their child’s therapy and collaborates with the team of therapists.

  • You may have other obligations preventing you from sitting in on your child’s ABA sessions- whether it is other children to take care of, work or household responsibilities that need tending to while your child is occupied.
  • You may be eager to help but simply too confused by all the therapy jargon, forms and plans. Don’t despair- we’ve written the ‘ABA for Dummies’ Glossary for parents like you.
  • You may be trying to implement the strategies you and your child are learning, but still struggling to carry them out at home without proper guidance.

Help Is at Hand: How We Help You Stay Involved

Bridge Care ABA is committed to helping parents along the ABA journey, with parent training classes and continuous collaboration between therapists and parents. Here are some practical suggestions that may help you support your child’s successful ABA experience.

  • If you can’t join your child’s therapy sessions regularly, it is still worthwhile to try to participate once every week or two. That way, your child sees you’re on board.
  • Read up about ABA therapy, its methods and its benefits so you understand the way the therapy strategies work. Our blog is a great place to start, with lots of informative articles covering everything you’re wondering about.
  • Give yourself the education you need to help your child by attending our parent training classes and utilizing the other informative resources we offer.
  • Pick up the phone and call us! We’re always happy to help, whether you need advice on handling your child in new situations or guidance in implementing the strategies we’ve spoken about.
  • We love hearing your feedback and suggestions. You know your child best, so let us know how they are doing and if any changes could make things easier for you and your child.


To recap, your role as a parent is a vital one in the ABA process, maximizing the power and long-term success of therapy. Make it your business to take an active role in your child’s therapy and build a working relationship with their therapy team.

At Bridge Care ABA, we make it easy for you to stay involved. We educate and empower parents at every stage of the therapeutic process so they can respond appropriately to their children’s needs and behaviors. By incorporating ABA therapy goals into the home environment, we ensure stability for your child and maximize their chances for success.

Get in touch with us today to hear more about how we can help.