ABA, speech therapy, or OT?

Can be confusing to understand the differences between available interventions and decide which one to choose. The following table may provide some clarity.

Symptoms ABA Speech Therapy OT
Developmental delay is generalized to all area of development (speech and communication, social, and daily living skills


Developmental delay is primarily caused by a motor impairment?



Developmental delay is  limited to speech production whereas social and daily living skills develop typically in absence of intense difficult behaviours.  


Your child seems to refuse to talk and refuse to follow your instructions


Your child presents specific articulation problems but does not present a generalized learning impairment    
Your child presents problematic behaviours (i.e. food refusal, frequent intense crying, flopping, etc.    
Your child presents anxiety in presence of specific stimulation (sensory defensiveness)    
Your child received a diagnose of autism It can be useful as complementary therapy if integrated in the primary behavioural intervention It can be useful as complementary therapy if integrated in the primary behavioural intervention
Your child received a diagnose of ADHD    
Your child is diagnosed with stuttering?    

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the scientific understanding of human behavior and learning processes applied to address a wide range of social issues, including helping individuals with autism and other learning disabilities and developmental delays to learn. Other names encountered within the field of ABA are: Verbal Behavior (VB), Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT), Natural Environment Teaching (NET), Pivotal Response Teaching (PRT). Each use a specific method of instruction and are all are based on the principles of ABA.An ABA program aims to the child’s acquisition of skills that the child is not learning spontaneously from his environment, such as Attending skills, Imitative skills, Fine motor and gross motor skills, communication skills, play skills, self-help skills.

Speech Therapy: Speech therapy is the profession devoted to treatment for disorders of speech (articulation, fluency, resonance, and voice, language (including receptive and expressive oral, written, graphic and manual communication), swallowing and upper aerodigestive functioning, cognitive aspects of communication, and sensory awareness related to communication. Read more

Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapy is a health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The term occupation refers to everyday activities that individuals do to occupy time and bring meaning and purpose to life. Occupations include tasks people need to, want to and are expected to do. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their skills or by modifying the task or the environment to better support the individual occupational engagement. Read more