Debunking Some Common Myths and Misconceptions about ABA Therapy 

autism myths busted

As a parent or caregiver of a child with autism, you may have heard about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. Unfortunately, not all of the information you come across is true. In fact, some of it can be harmful and lead to misconceptions about ABA therapy. 

Let’s debunk some of the most common myths and misconceptions about ABA therapy: 

Myth #1: ABA therapy is just about compliance and obedience. 

Truth: ABA therapy is not about forcing a child to comply or obey. Instead, it is a scientifically proven therapy that focuses on teaching skills, reducing problem behavior, and improving the overall quality of life for children with autism. 

Myth #2: ABA therapy is only effective for young children. 

Truth: ABA therapy can be effective for children of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. When done right, ABA is customized to meet each child’s individual needs and goals, regardless of age. 

Myth #3: ABA therapy is only for children with severe autism. 

Truth: ABA therapy can benefit children with autism of all levels of severity. Research shows that children with mild to moderate autism can benefit greatly from ABA therapy, just as children with severe autism can. 

Myth #4: ABA therapy is robotic and doesn’t take individuality into account. 

Truth: ABA therapy is a highly individualized therapy that considers each child’s unique strengths, needs, and interests. That said, not all ABA providers practice this way. Look for a clinic or home-based team that is tailored to your child’s needs, not a one-size-fits-all approach. 

Myth #5: ABA therapy is harmful and involves punishment. 

Truth: ABA therapy does not involve punishment. Instead, it focuses on positive reinforcement to teach new skills and behaviors. ABA therapy is safe and effective for children with autism. 

By debunking these common myths and misconceptions, we hope to provide you with a clearer understanding of what ABA therapy is and how it can benefit your child with autism.  

autism myths bustedAt ABA Connect, we focus on creating a positive experience for the children we work with. Our aim is that when our clients are grown and reflect on their experience with ABA Connect, their memories of their learning are positive and were a time of play and joy working with teachers who respect them and care for their needs.


  • Dixon, D. R., Burns, C. O., Granpeesheh, D., Amarasinghe, R., Powell, A., Linstead, E., & Cajal, L. S. (2017). A review of the role of occupational therapy in the management of autism spectrum disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 47(8), 2519-2533. 
  • Smith, T., & Iadarola, S. (2015). Evidence base update for autism spectrum disorder. Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology, 44(6), 897-922. 
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