Frequently Asked Questions


What is Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)?

A set of principles that help us understand why certain behaviours occur, and what is needed to change behaviours and learn new skills. The goal is to help learners develop, maintain, and generalize skills that are significant enough to improve their independence and quality of life.

What skills can be taught using ABA?

ABA can be used to increase various skills such as academic performance, eating, play, social skills, toilet training, remaining on task, fine and gross motor, attending, visual performance, self-care, and many more! Challenging behaviours, such as aggression, self-injury, tantrums, property destruction, etc. can also be reduced using ABA. Through ABA principles, more socially acceptable behaviours, such as requesting and tolerating delays and removal of preferred activities can be promoted.

How will skills be taught using ABA?

Long-term goals will be created and broken down into smaller short-term objectives. For example, the long-term goal of reading aloud can be broken down into identifying and labelling letters and letter sounds, labelling combinations of 2 sounds, and then 3 sounds, etc.

What is the ABA Process?

Various assessments will be conducted to determine the client’s current skill set, challenges, and preferences. Based on assessment results, research-based teaching strategies will be recommended and implemented during sessions with an Instructor Therapist. Progress will be carefully tracked and monitored to help guide the team’s decision on whether to continue with the current strategy, change the strategy, or proceed to the next objective/goal.


What is Autism?

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech, and nonverbal communication. As autism is a spectrum, each person has their unique set of strengths and challenges. The abilities of individuals with autism can range from highly skilled to severely challenged.

What are some Early Signs?


6 Months Limited to no smiles, expression, and eye contact.

9 Months Limited to no vocal sounds, smiles, and other forms of nonverbal communication.

12 Months Limited to no babbling, use of gestures for communication, and responding to name.

24 Months Limited to no meaningful two-word phrases.

Where can I get a Diagnosis?

If you have concerns about your child’s development, contact your pediatrician as soon as possible. Diagnosis can also be made by professionals who have gone through specific training, such as doctors, psychologists and psychological associates, and registered nurse practitioners.

How Early can I get a Diagnosis?

Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier.


What is ADHD?

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may experience difficulty paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviours, as they may act without considering the consequences, or tend to be overly active.

What are some signs of ADHD?

It is normal for children to occasionally experience non-compliance and difficulty focusing. However, these behaviours and other symptoms persist and can cause difficulty at school, at home, and with friends.

Some common signs include:

  • Excessive daydreaming

  • Forgetfulness

  • Squirming or fidgeting when idle

  • Talking more than needed

  • Making careless mistakes

  • Taking unnecessary risks

  • Difficulties resisting temptations

  • Inability to tolerate turn-taking

  • Challenges getting along with others


What is a learning disability?

A learning disability is a neurological disorder that becomes a barrier to receiving, processing, and/or expressing information. For example, children with learning disabilities may have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling, and/or organizing information if left to independently problem-solve or if taught using conventional methods.

How do I know my child has a learning disability?

Learning disabilities are difficult to diagnose, but the following are some of the signs:

  • Lack of enthusiasm for reading or writing

  • Difficulty with memorization

  • Working at a slow pace

  • Trouble following directions

  • Inability to remain on task

  • Difficulty understanding abstract ideas

  • Lack of attention to detail, or too much attention to detail

  • Poor social skills

  • Disruptiveness

What should I do if I suspect my child has a learning disorder?

If you suspect a learning disorder, talk to your child's pediatrician or teacher about having your child evaluated. You will likely have to visit a specialist, such as a clinical psychologist, a school psychologist, a developmental psychologist, an occupational therapist, or a speech and language therapist, depending on the challenges your child is experiencing. They will then perform a variety of tests and assessments to inform their diagnosis.