Enhancing Communication Skills
With ABA Therapy

RBT and child high fiving during an ABA therapy session

Understanding ABA Communication Therapy

Effective communication is a fundamental skill that plays an important role in our daily lives. For individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developing communication skills can be challenging. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy offers evidence-based interventions to improve communication skills. We will explore how ABA therapy contributes to expressive and receptive language in children with ASD to address goals and foster meaningful connections. 

Difference Between Expressive and Receptive Language

Expressive language and receptive language are key components of language and communication development. Understanding the distinctions between these two aspects of communication is essential in assessing and addressing communication challenges for children with ASD through ABA therapy. 

Expressive language is the ability to communicate thoughts, ideas, and feelings through spoken and written communication. This includes using words, sentences, and stories to express wants and needs.  

Receptive language focuses on comprehending and understanding language. This encompasses processing and interpreting information conveyed by others through written words, gestures, and non-verbal communication.  

Expressive Communication Goals in ABA Therapy

Child practicing his vocabulary with RBT

Vocabulary Expansion

ABA therapy can help in expanding a child’s vocabulary. ABA therapists, including Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT) and Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA), introduce new words and phrases with the use of visual aids, play-based therapy, and social scenarios to encourage children with autism to use expressive language skills. 

Sentence Structure Development

ABA therapists prioritize sentence structure development to enhance a child’s ability to communicate thoughts and ideas effectively. Through the integration of verbal operants, such as mands and tacts, RBTs empower children to communicate independently.  

Social Communication Skills

Fostering social communication skills is an important goal of ABA therapy to improve quality of life for children with ASD. Children learn to initiate and maintain conversations through verbal and written communication, improving their overall quality of life.  

Receptive Communication Goals in ABA Therapy

Understanding Verbal Instructions

ABA therapy helps children with ASD improve their ability to understand and follow verbal instructions. ABA therapists often accomplish this with the use of positive reinforcement, discrete trial training (DTT), and antecedent-based interventions (Antecedent Behavior Consequence). 

Comprehending Nonverbal Communication

Children undergoing ABA therapy learn to effectively interpret non-verbal cues including body language and facial expressions, to enhance their understanding in various social scenarios – at home, school and the community. ABA therapists use visual support and modeling to enhance their client’s understanding. 

Kid putting his thumbs up

Enhanced Listening Skills

RBTs and BCBAs collaborate to enhance listening skills, enabling children with autism to understand and retain spoken information. This contributes to their ability to actively engage in conversations and be independent in school settings. 

ABA Therapy Programs at Surpass Behavioral Health

ABA therapy is an evidenced-based approach to improving communication skills for children with ASD. By addressing specific language goals related to expressive and receptive communication, children can make strides towards effective and meaningful communication to improve their ability to foster meaningful connections 

Surpass Behavioral Health is dedicated to helping children and teens with ASD. With a focus on high-quality individualized care, support for families, and a commitment to evidence-based techniques, we are here to make a positive impact in the lives of those we serve. Contact us or get started today to learn more about our clinic-based ABA services. 

Share on

Related Articles

ABA therapy at home with a dad and his son

How to Incorporate ABA Therapy at Home

It’s important to integrate ABA techniques in your home to support your child with autism. Explore actionable strategies for applying ABA therapy at home.