Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy

Applied Behavior Analysis

ABA At University Pediatricians Autism Centers

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a very versatile treatment. Instead of just working on one area, ABA includes multiple areas into treatment to targets a well-rounded approach. In addition, ABA can be adapted to your child’s skill level and needs across various domains. Because of this, it can be hard to imagine what ABA may look like for your child. ABA is an evidence-based treatment for autism spectrum disorder. ABA is the utilization of specific techniques and strategies to bring about meaningful and positive behavior changes. Programs based on ABA break down tasks into small incremental steps taught individually with steps slowly pieced together, becoming more complex. We apply behavioral concepts such as reinforcement to shape new behaviors, replace inappropriate behaviors with more appropriate behaviors, and teach additional skills such as attending, and following instructions. Each treatment plan is individually tailored based on the needs identified from the parent input and client assessments.

We want parent involvement and input! Parents know their child best and we want children to be successful beyond the ABA treatment so we include parents in our process every step of the way. Initially we meet with the parents to learn about the child and hear the parents thoughts and concerns; we take these perspectives into consideration when developing goals and a plan. We want parents to be confident in interacting with their child, teaching their child, managing their child’s behaviors, and bonding with their child. To accomplish this, we ask for parent input on these areas and incorporate skills into the treatment plan that the parent will master through parent goals. We coach and support the parents through regular parent meetings on a weekly or bi-weekly basis; we also maintain communication on progress and updates through these regular meetings so parents can be highly involved in their child’s treatment.

We work with children as young as 18 months and as old as 21, offering a diverse treatment depending on the age and skill level of the child, as well as the family’s needs. Common areas of focus include communication, language comprehension, attending to the environment, behavior management, daily living skills, school readiness, social skills, independent living skills, vocational skills, self-management.

We offer both Clinic-based and In-Home ABA services. Skills taught vary based on the needs of the child but the focus is always to gain skills that will help the child gain independence and move to successful involvement in school and in the community. Clients typically receive 12-40 hours of intensive behavior intervention each week.


Skills addressed may include:

School and Work Readiness

• Communication • Focus on a Task
• Listening • Staying Seated
• Following Directions • Working with Others
• Maintaining Attention

Independent Living Skills

• Dressing • Household Chores
• Toileting • Following a Schedule
• Eating • Leisure Skills
• Personal Hygiene

Social Skills

• Playing with Peers • Joining Conversations
• Taking Turns • Initiating Conversations
• Understanding Another Person’s Perspective

Challenging Behavior Reduction

• Self-Harming Behaviors • Tantrums
• Destructive Behavior • Non-Compliance
• Aggression Toward Others

Why Choose University Pediatrician’s Autism Center?

Our team of highly trained clinician’s are ready to welcome your family. Our clinician’s have received university level training from accredited universities in Applied Behavior Analysis. Most of our clinician’s have completed an internal practicum experience with us and have chosen to stay employed with UPAC. We train our clinicians to a high degree in behavior analytic services including best practice and evidence-based practices in the field. We continue to provide ongoing education opportunities such as trainings on Relational Frame Theory (RFT), Motivational Interviewing, and encourage our staff to seek out additional education. In addition, we have proudly collaborated with Dr. Gregory Hanley on his research-based Practical Functional Assessment and Skills Based Treatment protocol for reducing problem behavior. Offering the most effective, research-based practices as tools for our families is one of our values.

Our Behavior Technicians are also highly trained. Each Behavior Technician accomplishes over 50 hours of trainings when hired. This training includes web-based education on Autism and Behavior Analysis, as well as hands on training to ensure application of the child’s treatment plan is accurate. Ongoing supervision occurs through the Clinician conducting regular observations of staff and ongoing training opportunities. We are proud that many of our behavior technician’s chose to pursue a career in behavior analysis.

Starting ABA Therapy Services at University Pediatricians Autism Center

Once an authorization from the insurance company has been verified, a Behavior Consultant will contact you to schedule a Behavioral Assessment. The Behavioral Assessment assesses developmental skills and typically takes 2-4 hours to complete. The assessment consists of a parent interview and structured observation of the child prior to the development of an individualized treatment plan. Once the treatment plan has been created, the Behavioral Consultant will meet with the family to review and discuss the plan. Lastly, the treatment plan is submitted to the insurance company for approval. We usually receive approval within 5-14 days of the submission of the plan.

Parent Training

An autism diagnosis can be overwhelming for families. We provide individualized parent trainings as part of ABA therapy. Some of the topics covered in the parent trainings are: roadblocks to treatment, information about the diagnosis, intervention strategies and how to coordinate care with other treatment providers more effectively. We customize the parent trainings to meet you and your child’s needs. Parents will meet with the BCBA weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the needs of the family. In addition, we offer group parent trainings so parents can get a solid foundation of the concepts of behavior analysis that are being implemented and so they can continue treatment success at home and lifelong.

Professionals in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

The Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is a graduate-level certification in applied behavior analysis, with a focus on autism treatment. BCBAs are responsible for developing and writing treatment plans for the children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). BCBAs also supervise the work of Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts, Registered Behavior Technicians, and others who implement the behavior therapy.

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysis (BCaBA)

The Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) is an undergraduate-level certification in applied behavior analysis. Professionals who are certified at the BCaBA level must be supervised by someone certified at the BCBA/BCBA-D level. BCaBAs assist with clinical evaluations, assessments and supervise the work of Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT’s), and others who implement applied behavior analysis techniques and strategies.

Behavior Technician / Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)

The Behavior Technician (BT) or Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) is a paraprofessional who implements the treatment plans created by the BCBA. The RBT/BT works one-on-one with a child diagnosed with autism and utilizes ABA techniques. Behavior technicians and registered behavior technicians are supervised by BCaBAs and BCBA/BCBA-D level professionals.

For more information on the BACB credentials, visit

Free Resources on Autism and ABA Therapy

The following links are autism resources that provide helpful information for parents, grandparents and siblings who have family on the autism spectrum.

Autism Alliance of Michigan: The Autism Alliance of Michigan makes collaborative efforts in Michigan that will help improve the quality of life for individuals with autism through education, access to comprehensive services, community awareness, inclusion efforts, and coordinated advocacy.

Michigan ABA Benefit: The ABA insurance eligibility and treatment process through Michigan Medicaid.

ASAT Online: Research on autism treatments for families and professionals.

ASOC: The Autism Society of Oakland County is an advocacy organization that serves individuals diagnosed with ASD in Oakland County, Michigan.

Autism Speaks: List of autism centers that provide applied behavior analysis (ABA) services around the state.

Behavior Analyst Certification Board: The Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. (BACB®) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1998 to meet professional credentialing needs identified by behavior analysts and consumers.

Autism Council: List of current members of the Michigan Autism Council Members and their biographies.


Leadership Team: Meet the leadership of the Michigan Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities.

Parent Involvement Presentation: Short video presentation for MI-LEND.

Grant Press Release: Read the press release regarding Wayne State’s University Pediatricians Autism Center receiving Grants to expand autism initiatives in Michigan.

Educational Videos

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Best Practices in Screening, Referral and Behavioral Health Interventions

Screening, Referral and Follow-Up of Autism Spectrum Disorder Using the M-CHAT-R