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Frequently Asked Questions

  • All
  • General ABA
  • Insurance
  • Rinn ABA Services
  • All
  • General ABA
  • Insurance
  • Rinn ABA Services
What is ABA?
In their definitive textbook “Applied Behavior Analysis,” Cooper, Heron, and Heward define ABA as “a science devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior.” ABA researchers have spent decades studying how people’s behavior can be shaped by the behavior of others, as well as the rules and routines they encounter. ABA service providers use techniques based on the principles established by these researchers. These techniques span a wide variety of skill areas, and can address issues of socialization, communication, self-care, and problem behavior, to name a few.
Is all that data really necessary?
In most cases, yes. Behavior analysts use data to assess the effectiveness of their teaching. This means they can quickly modify ineffective procedures when necessary. Also, data are used to determine precisely when a skill has been learned to criterion, so that skill can be advanced, and the extra teaching time can be allocated to a new skill. It is true, however, that some forms of data collection can be time-consuming and slow the pace of instruction. For this reason, Rinn ABA Consulting uses digital cloud-based data collection and analysis, for maximum efficiency and transparency.
Is ABA all discrete trials and rote memorization?
No! Quality ABA service providers ensure that students learn to "apply" the skills they've learned in truly functional ways. Discrete trial teaching is often used to introduce and hone skills (e.g., playing with a doll, math facts, putting on socks) in a controlled distraction-free environment (e.g., at a desk). However, once the skill is adequately learned in this environment, it is taught "in context" (e.g., during a play date, while paying for a purchase, when getting dressed), and incorporated into everyday life.
Also, there are many essential skills that do not lend themselves to deskwork. Think of self-help skills (e.g., brushing teeth), leisure skills (e.g., playing catch), social skills (e.g., greeting a friend), community skills (e.g., going shopping), and so on. These skills may be more effectively taught using naturalistic teaching methods.
If a child constantly receives rewards, won’t he/she refuse to work in their absence?
his raises the age-old question of whether intrinsic motivation (e.g., being naturally motivated) is hampered by extrinsic motivation (e.g., being motivated by possible rewards). The truth is: extrinsic motivation can, and often does cultivate intrinsic motivation. The principles of ABA suggest that we are more likely to enjoy the things that are associated with rewards, even after those rewards are no longer available.
Think of the eating habits of young children. Most young children are not “intrinsically” motivated to try new foods. However, when provided with praise from parents, and perhaps a preferred treat, children become motivated to try them. Over time, they come to naturally enjoy many of the foods, with or without the promise of a treat.
We all receive rewards in our daily lives that reinforce our behavior. The clearest example of this is receiving a paycheck for hard work. Though many people truly enjoy their jobs, most would not work 40 hours a week simply for the “intrinsic” reward of doing so. The extrinsic reward of a paycheck is what ultimately motivates people to go to work everyday. So why prevent our students from earning something for their hard work?
How long is each ABA session?
Sessions vary in length depending on your referral and authorization from your insurance company. Rinn ABA requires at least 3 sessions per week in order to reach milestones and foster progress with the child as well as the parents.
How extensively have ABA principles been researched?
Behavior analysts have rigorously tested the principles of their science for over 50 years. Unlike many sciences, ABA researchers administer numerous controls to enhance the validity of their experiments. Some of these controls include: baseline measures, inter-observer agreement, treatment integrity, and social validity. Furthermore, behavior analytic research refrains from “averaging” data, which can mask the true effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of an intervention. Click here to access decades of peer-reviewed articles on ABA's principles and methods, in The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA).
How does ABA differ from Verbal Behavior and Positive Behavior Supports?
Verbal Behavior (VB) and Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) can be thought of as offshoots or extensions of ABA, which is the parent science. Both sets of methods utilize behavior analytic principles, and despite slight differences in terminology, do not conflict with ABA in any meaningful way.
Does health insurance cover ABA therapy?
Yes! ABA therapy is now considered a "medically necessary" treatment and is covered by most, if not all, insurance carriers.

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Client Testimonials

“Hannah’s” son began receiving services with Rinn ABA in 2015 at the age of 1.5 years old. Here Hannah discusses her son’s progress.
“Melissa’s” son began receiving services with Rinn ABA in 2014. Here Melissa describes how her son’s behavior change increased the quality of life for the whole family.
Here, “Hannah” describes the professionalism and dedication of Rinn’s ABA staff.