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Are You Missing Key Progress Signals in Your Autism ABA Therapy Practice? Learn the Top 5 Strategies

ZigZag Autism App, ABA Graphs, ABA Session notes
Autism App, ABA Graphs, ABA Session notes

Tracking progress is an essential part of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, as it allows BCBA's and ABA therapists to make informed decisions about treatment plans and measure the effectiveness of interventions. Here are five effective ways to track progress during ABA therapy:

1. Understanding all the long-term and short-term goals of a child with autism is crucial to track their progress in ABA therapy.

For instance, a child might have goals related to language development, self-regulation, and social skills. A BCBA or ABA therapist should have a macro view of where the child stands in terms of all their goals, including how they interlink and dependencies.

Example: If a child's goal is to improve self-regulation, it may be related to their language development. For instance, if a child has difficulty with communication, they may become frustrated, leading to tantrums or meltdowns, which could be addressed through self-regulation techniques. Having a visual representation of these linkages helps the therapist identify patterns and prioritize goals accordingly, leading to more efficient and effective therapy sessions.

Data Tools? - A way to visualize the relationships between different domains, for example, through a chart or a dashboard, can be helpful.

2. Looking at Macro Signals of Progress to see overall patterns is crucial to know how a child learns

BCBA's and ABA therapists can track macro progress by looking at goals worked and mastered by skills and domains, overall velocity of progress across goals, and cumulative graphs to know the rate of mastery.

Example: If a child is working on a number of communication skills, BCBA's can track progress by measuring the overall progress across all of them together. They can look for metrics such as the the overall velocity of progress across different domains of communication, such as expressive, receptive and social language skills.

Data Tools? - Filtered views and reports by domains, Velocity and cumulative graphs that show progress rates

3. Looking at Micro Signals:

BCBA's and ABA therapists can track progress by analyzing detailed and real-time session notes, progress scores, and session graphs to understand trends day-to-day. They can also examine qualitative work samples, such as images or videos of work, to understand the current dynamic.

Example: By reviewing detailed session notes, BCBA's and ABA therapists can understand what worked well during a session and what areas need improvement. Progress with autism is dynamic, varying from day to day with new challenges or improvements surfacing with time. It is essential to track and document this journey through every session for timely and swift responsive intervention.

Data Tools? - Real time session notes, Automated data calculations for session scores, Real time graphs, Real time qualitative samples

4. Looking for Variations through data

BCBA's and ABA therapists can analyze data to understand progress in a more nuanced level. They can identify which skills and domains are mastered faster than others, if the data and progress look different with different therapists, which targets and goals take above-average time to master, and which programs are run more frequently than others.

Example: If a child is struggling to master a specific self care goal, BCBA's and ABA therapists can review the data to identify any patterns or barriers to progress. The methodologies, baseline, expectation of progress, speed of progress, troubleshooting strategies across the whole domain may offer great insight to move forward.

Data Tools? - Filtered views of progress by domains, graphs, prompt pattern data

5. Ensuring Sustained Progress: Testing the proficiency of mastered goals by running them in maintenance intermittently is essential. Ensuring that goals related to previously mastered goals take that baseline into account and leverage the successful methodologies of those previous goals.

Example: If a child has mastered a specific communication goal, such as initiating conversations, BCBA's and ABA therapists can test the child's proficiency by running maintenance sessions periodically. They can also develop new goals that build upon the child's previous successes to ensure sustained progress.

Data Tools? - Maintenance modes, Filtering by Domain, Long term-short term goal representations

Using the right ABA App to collect, analyze, and present all this data is crucial for BCBA's and ABA therapists to successfully hit all these progress checks. ZigZag Autism App offers all this in real-time and at their fingertips, allowing BCBA's and ABA therapists to streamline their progress tracking and focus on providing the best care possible for children with autism.

For more information on ZigZag and to Watch a live demo go to or reach the author at

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