Home Based Vs Center Based ABA Therapy

There have been many advances in helping to support children who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Many different therapies have been developed to teach children the skills they need to navigate everyday life, and one of the most effective is Applied Behavior Analysis.

Also known as ABA therapy, this method uses an evidence-based and scientific approach to supporting children with autism. Therapists are taught how to understand the science behind behavior of learning, and then apply that to each individual with whom they work.

Today, there are a variety of ways that ABA therapy can put into practice. Many parents who are considering this approach for their children weigh the differences of home based vs center based ABA therapy

Below, we’ll outline some of the advantages to each, and highlight why in home ABA therapy is the preferred route.

In Home ABA Therapy

With in home ABA therapy, a registered therapist works with the child in their own home. Instead of providing the services in a school or other environment, the therapist will come directly to the child’s home.

Here are some of the main advantages of in home ABA therapy.


The fact that the services are provided in the child’s home means they are learning in an environment with which they are comfortable. This is one of the biggest advantages of in home ABA therapy, as children who have autism may experience a lot of anxiety in new environments.

With the child in their natural environment, the therapist can also observe their typical behaviors, and then work to help them improve and develop the skills they need.


The advantage that the convenience that in home ABA therapy provides can’t be understated. Parents don’t have to balance transporting their child from one location to another just to receive services.

This helps to eliminate the potential of missed appointments, which leads to a higher rate of success for the therapy itself.

Distractions Are Limited

When ABA therapy services are delivered at home, it’s easier to limit the distractions. When services are given in a school or center, there is much more going on around the child that can’t be mitigated.

For some children, this could cause major disruptions, which could make it more difficult for the therapy to be effective. When the therapist comes to the child’s home, the family can plan out a space that will be separate and as quiet as can be from everything else going on in the house.

Involvement with the Family

Another major advantage of in home ABA therapy is that it’s easier to integrate the entire family into the therapy. This is key to the success of ABA therapy as a whole, which is why home based therapy is a preferred method for many.

For ABA therapy to be successful in the long term, some of the principles must be reinforced by the entire family — parents, siblings and others who are in their everyday lives.

When the therapy is delivered in the environment in which those people are also located, they can more easily grasp what their role in it will be.

Center Based ABA Therapy

Some providers offer center based ABA therapy, where the child will be taken to a new environment where they will learn the skills they need. While there are some downfalls to this, there are some scenarios in which it could make sense.

Below are some of the advantages that center based ABA therapy provides.

Helpful with Transitions

Center based ABA therapy can prove to be helpful with transitions. If a child hasn’t attended school yet, for instance, then getting center based ABA therapy could be beneficial in getting them acclimated to a public setting.

More Social Interactions

Along the same lines, center based ABA therapy provides the opportunity for children to have more social interactions with people outside their house. Ultimately, the goal of ABA therapy is to equip autistic children with the skills they need to succeed in real-world scenarios, and they can get a taste of that in these settings.

Therapists can integrate individual therapy with small group therapy in a center-based environment, which is something that might be more challenging at home.

Outside Structure

While the familiarity of home is certainly a positive, some children with autism could benefit from more structure outside the home. Familiar environments come with potential distractions, which can lead to difficulty focusing.

Most centers are created to solely focus on therapy, which is one potential advantage they have over in home ABA therapy. When children enter the center, they’ll know that it’s a place to learn and focus.

Home Based Vs Center Based ABA Therapy

In sum, there are positives to each environment for ABA therapy. As with everything, parents need to make the choice that is best for their child.

Autism does not affect every child the same, and therefore, not every child will benefit from therapy in the same way. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons why ABA therapy is so successful — because it can be personalized to each individual.

For many children, in home ABA therapy provides the best environment to learn the skills they need to thrive, which is why it’s the preferred method of administering the practice.

Try out in home aba in Nebraska or our ABA Clinic in Omaha Nebraska