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Welcome to our online space for ABA Parent Training Information and Resources. Find quality, research-supported information from a BCBA on all things Applied Behavior Analysis Parent Training.

ABA Parent Training (Tips for Quality Applied Behavior Analysis Parent Training)

ABA Parent Training (Tips for Quality Applied Behavior Analysis Parent Training)

In applied behavior analysis services, professional ABA providers may not only be working one on one with a client or supervising others who do so. They may also be providing training and consultation to caregivers of those clients. Specifically, this is often referred to as parent training or family guidance.

ABA Parent Training is Essential to Treatment with Children

ABA parent training is an important piece of any treatment plan when working with children and adolescents. As caregivers, parents are responsible for helping their child learn and develop by guiding them and teaching them skills and behaviors that will help them in everyday life.

It can be a difficult task to come up with ideas for providing high quality ABA parent training curriculum. We will be providing you with research backed information on how to provide the best ABA parent training curriculum for your clients and their caregivers.

Collaborating with parents in ABA parent training

Parent involvement in the treatment process has been found to be a factor that increases the likelihood of positive outcomes for the child (Crockett and Fleming, 2007). According to Gresham et al. (1999) ABA services for children with autism that include parent training result in greater outcomes for the child as compared to services without ABA parent training incorporated into the treatment.

When working with parents, it is important to remember to work together collaboratively rather than in an expert-client dynamic. Parents have knowledge and know the history of their child. This information along with their parental insight combined with the professionals knowledge of effective treatment strategies can be combined in a collaborative manner to individualize the services and create the best chance for optimal outcomes for the child (Albone-Bushnell, 2014).

Providing applied behavior analysis parent training to the caregivers of your clients can lead to benefits for the client’s whole family.

ABA parent training lesson plans and handouts

One option for developing your ABA parent training curriculum is to personalize your services and utilize lesson plans that help you stay focused on the relevant topics of ABA and/or autism spectrum disorder. You could consider getting our ‘One-Year ABA Parent Training Curriculum.’ They include multiple ABA parent training handouts as well as worksheets and other educational materials. Individual lessons may be used or the entire curriculum can be implemented.

Providing parents with tools and knowledge that are useful for the parenting that they provide to their child with autism can lead to greater self-confidence, hope in the possibility of positive treatment outcomes, acceptance of life’s challenges, and even generalization of effective parenting skills to other children in the home. ABA parent training may also lead to greater relationship dynamics between parents when they are both on board with implementing similar strategies with their child.

Using ABA parent training handouts (such as those in the one-year curriculum) can help provide some guidance and visual tools to help parents learn more about ABA and, more importantly, learn more about how to help their child learn and grow.

Parent-Child Relationship in ABA Parent Training

Also, focusing on the parent-child relationship has great benefits for both parent and child and the relationship as a whole. Providing ABA parent training with the parent individually and with the parent and child together can allow for opportunities to teach the parent effective strategies as well as generalizing the skills to real-life situations.

Additionally, when focusing on the parent-child relationship, the ABA professional can help teach the parent to build rapport with their child (or improve the quality of their relationship), help the child be more compliant and help the parent to follow through on demands (or directions) given to the child.

There are many more things that can be taught and encouraged when focusing on the parent-child relationship but that will be information for another article.

ABA Parent Training Topics to Address

Some topics that you may consider addressing in ABA parent training include working on these ABA parent training topics:

  • Positive reinforcement - help parents to learn what positive reinforcement is and how to use it in everyday situations

  • Providing consequences - discuss consequences to behaviors and help parents to learn about the functions of behavior and effective consequences to obtain desired behaviors

  • Gaining the child’s attention - how to appropriately get their child’s attention before presenting a demand or direction

  • Prompting - teach parents what prompting is, how to use prompting, and how to fade prompting

  • Establishing operations - help parents learn about motivating operations and using the child’s interests in learning opportunities



Albone-Bushnell (2014) recommends the following 15 ABA parent training topics to be addressed in ABA parent training sessions. The following topics could also be identified in a treatment plan as ABA parent training goals.

  • Parent will implement behavior management strategies for challenging behaviors

  • Parent will be competent in implementing the behavior plan

  • Parent will identify a variety of reinforcers for their child

  • Parent will use clear and appropriate language when speaking to their child

  • Parent will utilize antecedent strategies

  • Parent will understand their role in the child’s functioning and generalization of skills in the home and school settings

  • Parent will identify functional communication skills for their child

  • Parent will participate in development of treatment goals

  • Parent will practice natural environment training

  • Parent will identify self-help skills and daily living skills applicable for their child

  • Parent will utilize play time for teaching skills

  • Parent will understand and utilize joint attention with their child

  • Parent will identify pro-social behaviors in their child

  • Parent will be able to break tasks into smaller parts to help their child learn

  • Parent will identify the function of their child’s behaviors

  • Parent will utilize ABC data appropriately

Although there is still much more to learn and research in the area of ABA parent training, this article has provided you with some research-supported guidelines for providing applied behavior analysis parent training to your clients’ caregivers. Remember to individualize your services for each child and family that you work with but consider utilizing the recommendations discussed above to provide high quality ABA parent training.

If you’re interested, we have recently published the “One-Year ABA Parent Training Curriculum.”

Check it out here.

References for ABA Parent Training Tips:

Albone-Bushnell, R. (2014). A list of core skills and knowledge necessary for parents of children birth to five years old with autism, as prioritized by practitioners with a behavioral perspective (Order No. 3689092). Available from Education Collection. (1678945631). Retrieved from

Crockett , J. L., & Fleming , R. K.(2007). Parent training: Acquisition and generalization. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 28, 23-36.

Gresham, F. M., Beebe-Frankenberger, M. E., & MacMillan, D. L. (1999). A selective review of treatments for children with autism: Description and methodological considerations. School Psychology review, 559-575.

Clearly Define Parent Training - Approaches for ABA & Behavioral Health Parent Training

Clearly Define Parent Training - Approaches for ABA & Behavioral Health Parent Training