Approximately 1 in 36 children in the United States is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As a parent of a child with ASD, you want to provide them with the best possible care and support to help them thrive. One of the most widely recognized and effective interventions for children with ASD is Applied Behavior Analysis therapy. However, the cost of aba therapy can be a significant concern for many families. (1)

This article will discuss the variables influencing the cost of ABA therapy and determine whether it’s a worthwhile investment.

Understanding ABA Therapy  

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is a scientifically based approach focusing on the improvement of social behaviors like social skills, communication, and academic abilities. It involves the systematic application of principles of learning theory to modify behavior through the help of positive reinforcement and data-driven decision-making.

How much does ABA therapy cost? The expenses related to ABA therapy can differ based on the following factors:


The cost of living in your area can significantly impact the cost of ABA therapy. Prices tend to be higher in urban areas and regions with a higher demand for ABA services.

Provider Type

ABA therapy can be provided by different types of professionals, including Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs), and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs). BCBAs typically command higher rates due to their advanced training and expertise.

Intensity and Duration

The recommended intensity and duration of ABA therapy vary based on your child’s needs and the severity of their condition. More intensive and longer-term therapies will naturally incur higher costs.

Insurance Coverage

Many health insurance plans cover at least a portion of ABA therapy costs, but coverage can vary widely depending on your plan and state regulations. Out-of-pocket expenses can quickly add up without adequate insurance coverage.


The cost of ABA therapy can range from USD$60-400 per hour, with the average cost being around USD$120 per hour. However, the total cost of therapy can vary significantly depending on the factors mentioned above. For example, a child receiving 20 hours of therapy per week at USD$120 per hour would incur a cost of USD$2,400 per week. While the price may seem intimidating, it’s essential to take a look at the long-term effects and possible benefits associated with this intervention.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an ABA Provider

When selecting an ABA provider, it is crucial to consider the following factors:

Credentials and Experience

Ensure that the provider and their staff hold the appropriate credentials and have extensive experience working with children with ASD. BCBAs should have a master’s degree or higher in a relevant field and have passed the BCBA certification exam.

Individualized Treatment Plans

A reputable ABA provider should develop individualized treatment plans tailored to your child’s specific needs and goals. The plan should be regularly reviewed and updated based on your child’s progress.

Parent Training and Involvement

Look for providers that prioritize parent training and involvement. Your active participation in the therapy process can significantly enhance the effectiveness of the intervention and promote generalization of skills across various settings.

Data Collection and Progress Monitoring

ABA therapy should be data-driven, with frequent progress monitoring and data collection to track your child’s progress and inform treatment decisions.

Ultimately, the decision to invest in ABA therapy for your child should be based on a careful consideration of your child’s specific needs and the potential benefits.

Exploring Alternative Funding Options

If the cost of ABA therapy seems like a significant financial burden, it’s essential to explore alternative funding options:

Government Programs and Grants

Some state and federal programs provide financial assistance for ABA therapy and other services for individuals with ASD. Research the available options in your area.

Nonprofit Organizations and Foundations

Many nonprofit organizations and foundations offer grants or scholarships to help families cover the cost of ABA therapy and other autism-related expenses.

Employer-Sponsored Benefits

Some employers offer benefits or assistance programs to help employees cover the cost of therapies and services for their children with special needs. Inquire about such programs at your workplace.


It is essential to research and compare different ABA providers, carefully evaluate their qualifications and approach, and explore all available funding options. By making an informed decision and advocating for your child’s needs, you can be at peace they receive the appropriate support and interventions to help them reach their full potential.


ABA therapy proves to be a pivotal intervention that can be valuable for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The potential improvement in communication, socialization, and behavior makes it a worthy investment for people within the spectrum. It’s essential to consider the factors influencing the cost of ABA therapy and explore options for financial options to help manage the impact.  


1. ‘Data & Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder.’ Source: