Treatment dosage
Treatment Dosage, which is often referenced in the treatment literature as “intensity,” will vary with each client and should reflect the goals of treatment, specific client needs, and response to treatment. Treatment dosage should be considered in two distinct categories: intensity and duration.

Intensity
Intensity is typically measured in terms of number of hours per week of direct treatment. Intensity often determines whether the treatment falls into the category of either Focused or Comprehensive.

Focused ABA Treatment
Focused  ABA  generally  ranges  from  10-25 hours per week of  direct  treatment  (plus direct and indirect supervision and caregiver training). However, certain programs for severe destructive behavior may require more than 25 hours per week of direct therapy (for example, day treatment or inpatient program for severe self-injurious behavior).

Comprehensive ABA Treatment
Treatment often involves an intensity level of 30-40 hours of 1:1 direct treatment to the client per week, not including caregiver training, supervision, and other needed services. However,  very young children  may start with a few  hours of therapy per day with the goal  of increasing the intensity of therapy as their ability to tolerate and participate permits.

Treatment hours are subsequently increased or decreased based on the client’s response to treatment and current needs. Hours may be increased to more efficiently reach treatment goals. Decreases in hours of therapy per week typically occur when a client has met a   majority of the treatment goals and is moving     toward  discharge.

Although the recommended number of hours of  therapy may seem high, this  is  based  on research findings  regarding  the  intensity  required  to  produce  good  outcomes.  It  should  also be noted that time spent away from therapy may result in the individual falling further behind typical developmental trajectories. Such delays will likely result in increased costs and greater dependence  on more intensive  services across their  life  span.

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