Children & Behavioral Problems – What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy?

Does your child engage in challenging behavior regularly? Wait, that’s most children. Let’s put it another way: Are you ready to dig a hole and crawl in it after a nightmarish Target trip with your screaming child? Do you ever just throw your hands up and think, “You’ve won, kid. I give up.” Do you catch yourself thinking, “Maybe this won’t fix itself overnight….”  Are things getting worse, not better?


Well, hi. I’m Betsie, the Behavior Analyst at Project Play Therapy, and if I just described you, I hear you, and I can help!


We just launched our ABA program at Project Play in early September, and we’re getting things up and running for all your challenging behavior needs. This post will explain what ABA is, what we offer (or are in the process of offering!) and how we can help you!


ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis, which is the science of socially significant human behavior. Here’s the gist: Psychologists and behavioral researchers have learned a lot over the last century about human behavior and how variables in the environment positively or negatively affect human behavior. ABA uses the principles that those brilliant people found and apply it to learners who engage in maladaptive behavior or have skill deficits to create positive behavior change while teaching new skills, and wouldn’t ya know, it works! ABA is endorsed nationally by the surgeon general and is the most effective evidence-based treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Basically, what that means is that the principles of ABA can work for children of all abilities. ABA is extremely effective in reducing challenging behavior and teaching new skills for all children. The principles of ABA are used as the foundation for many positive behavior support systems in schools and other organizations. Do some research on your own and you’ll see what I mean!


Okay, so it’s a fascinating science, it’s evidence-based, and it works. Now what?


Our ABA approach at Project Play Therapy is rooted in Positive Behavior Support, where we truly believe that all behavior is communication and we are constantly asking the question, “How can I best support this child?” We prioritize preventative strategies, reinforcement, teaching children new skills rather than punishing them. We train caregivers in positive behavior support strategies to reduce caregiver stress and increase effectiveness in teaching children new skills. Bottom line — we are here to help you!


We offer ABA services in a variety of ways including:

  • Challenging behavior consult (in clinic, home, or via telehealth)
  • Individual or Group Parent coaching
  • Ongoing ABA services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other developmental disabilities
  • Conducting functional behavior assessments (FBA) in schools
  • School-wide coaching in Positive Behavior Support and ABA
  • In-home Intensive Toilet Training
  • And more!


If any of these sound like they could be of interest or be of help to you in your unique situation, please call us and/or stay tuned for more information regarding these services. We are always looking for competent BCBAs, RBTs or interns to bring on to support our growing caseload! If you are looking to join a great team and help us build our ABA program, please send resumes to


Be on the lookout for weekly tips and tricks for effective ways to decrease challenging behavior and teach your child new behaviors at our Facebook page Project Play Therapy, LLC, or on Instagram @projectplaytherapy.


Thanks for stopping by our blog, and hope to hear from you soon!


Betsie Johnson, M.Ed, BCBA, LBA