Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is therapy that addresses issues in and focuses on the improvement of specific behaviors. Behavior includes communication, social skills, learning habits, attention and memory, motor skills, and hygiene. Addressing such behaviors can improve activities for daily living, and the main context of the client’s occupation, such as the school or the workplace.

Beginning Therapy

A board-certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) begins a journey with a client and his/her family through a series of interviews, with a primary caregiver, or a teacher (usually the case if the school has referred to the service). For assessment purposes and further observation, home or school visits may be recommended to gain a more comprehensive understanding of a child’s day-to-day environment.

Before registering for ABA services with MAGIS, a report from a developmental pediatrician may also be helpful. You may choose to schedule one through MAGIS and its affiliate developmental pediatricians, or book your own appointment with your preferred hospital or clinic.

Client Journey

  1. Referral for services and/or a Developmental Pediatrician appointment
  2. Schedule an Initial Intake with MAGIS. The following documents may be requested if available:
    1. ABA referral letter or diagnostic evaluation report written and signed by a developmental pediatrician
    2. Individualized Education Program (IEP) from school, if applicable
    3. Reports from other educators and allied mental health professionals (i.e., teacher, principal, clinical psychologist, school counselor, occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, reading specialist, art therapist, previous ABA service provider)
  3. Initial intake process may take anywhere from 1- 3 interviews and at least 1 observation session to be completed
  4. Initial recommendations by BCBA
  5. Basic Functional Behavior Assessment (for behavioral excesses) AND/OR Skills Assessment (for behavioral deficits), if recommended
  6. Post-assessment consultation with parent
  7. Regular sessions
  8. Other sessions arranged as needed: parent-teacher conferences, home/school visits.

About ABA at MAGIS


18 months – 21 years

What do we do?

Helping clients and client stakeholders (family, caregivers, teachers) have a deeper understanding of cause and effect of behavior, and strategize for its improvement

How do we do it?

Assessment, planning, collaboration, implementation, and continuous supervision of a program focused on habilitation and rehabilitation of client.

Intervention Focus

Interviews, observations, and assessments to understand behavior, encouraging healthy functional behavior patterns, life skills development, skills acquisition, group social skills development, parent and family training, caregiver training. 


Initial Intake (pre-assessment)
The Initial Intake is a 1 – 1.5 h interview with adults and assume one of the following roles: a) caregiver (i.e., biological parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, grandparent, nanny/“yaya”), b) sibling, and/or c) teacher/tutor/service provider. 2 or more interviews may be recommended, based on the daily environment of the child.

Additional points to note for online intake

  1. Interviewee will need stable internet access.
  2. High school aged-clients may join caregivers or teachers in the online initial intake.
  3. Caregivers or teachers will share the client’s development history with Behavior Analyst (BA) and prepare to discuss goals they would like targeted within the next 3 months with the client.

Basic Functional Behavior Assessment
The FBA is an assessment process lasting 3 – 6 weeks that identifies specific behaviors, and analyzes each behavior based on their functions, triggers, and maintaining environmental variables. The outcome of this assessment is a comprehensive report covering the context of the child’s school and home life. A board-certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) conducts the assessment and concludes it with a meeting with the child’s primary caregiver/s.

This assessment can be helpful in identifying factors that could be affecting a child’s progress in general development, education, and taking concrete steps to begin addressing the behavior in ways that are in the best interest of the child and his or her immediate surroundings (e.g. family, classroom).

Additional points to note for online Basic FBA

  1. Interviewee will need stable internet access.
  2. Interviewee will agree to the following behavior data collection strategies to successfully complete the FBA process:
    • Once-a-week synchronous/face-to-face online observations for at least 4 weeks via Zoom or, and/or 
    • Daily asynchronous audio-video recordings/presentation of permanent products for at least 1 week submitted via email or other phone applications. 

Skills Assessment
A skills assessment run ideally every six months to indicate a child’s current placement and progression in the areas of learning and language. It can be implemented from as short as three weeks to as long as 1.5 months. A skills assessment utilizes standardized skill and communication assessments.

Ecological Assessment
An ecological assessment begins with examining the skills needed for an individual to be successful in a specific environment (i.e., reading group in the general education classroom, school cafeteria, playground at recess, dinner table at home, restaurant, library, movie theater, workplace, etc). This assessment can be conducted to assess students’ independence and present levels of participation so that meaningful goals can be set to teach the necessary communication, social, behavioral, cognitive skills, or daily living skills the student needs to maximize performance. An ecological assessment utilizes a standardized assessment tool.