Comparing Focused (Part-Time) ABA Therapy in School Settings to Comprehensive (Full-Time) ABA Therapy in Home and Clinic Environments

December 11, 2023

The main difference between Focused and Comprehensive ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy lies in the intensity and duration of the therapy sessions. This variance in therapy approaches is crucial in catering to the unique needs and developmental requirements of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental challenges.

Focused ABA Therapy can be offered within any setting.  If a student is receiving ABA therapy at school, it is typically considered Focused ABA, where students receive intervention for a limited number of hours (usually less than 25 hours per week). This approach is often suitable for children who may have milder autism symptoms or require less intensive intervention.  It is also appropriate when most of a learner’s treatment goals from a Comprehensive program are met, but there are a few remaining goals to target before fading out of intervention services.

Comprehensive ABA Therapy, on the other hand, is typically administered in the home or at a specialized clinic and involves significantly more hours per week, ranging from 20 to 40 hours. The extended duration and increased frequency of sessions create a more intensive intervention environment. This intensive approach is particularly beneficial for individuals with more severe autism symptoms or complex developmental challenges.

The advantages of Comprehensive ABA therapy are numerous. The increased intensity allows for intervention to address a broader spectrum of developmental goals. These goals may encompass communication, social skills, behavior management, self-help skills, and other areas crucial for the individual’s overall independence. The extended time spent in therapy sessions provides opportunities for targeted skill development, reinforcing positive behaviors, and reducing challenging behaviors.

Furthermore, the greater intensity often leads to faster progress in achieving specific goals and milestones. The increased repetition and practice within Comprehensive ABA therapy can help individuals make significant strides in their developmental journey.

It’s important to emphasize that the choice between Focused and Comprehensive ABA therapy should be made with careful consideration of the individual’s unique needs. Parents, caregivers, and educational professionals should collaborate to create a customized plan that best serves the child’s overall development and well-being. This may involve periodic reassessment and adjustments to the therapy plan to ensure that it remains aligned with the child’s evolving needs and goals. Ultimately, the goal of both Focused and Comprehensive ABA therapy is to help individuals with special needs achieve their highest potential and improve their quality of life.

Learn more about our ABA therapy services here.