May 5, 2014

rethinkApplied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the leading intervention for children with autism. It has been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the New York State Department of Health, and the United States Surgeon General. Studies have shown that intense early intervention in an ABA program can make a significant difference in the life of a child with autism.

The downside? Cost. An intensive, in-home ABA program can cost $30,000 per year or more, making it unaffordable for many.

Rethink Autism is a website designed to train parents and educators to implement an ABA program in their homes or schools, for a minimal monthly fee. The website includes comprehensive assessment tools, web-based teaching tutorials, hundreds of video images of teaching interactions, and teaching objectives, set up in a simple, easy-to-navigate format.

It also includes an online support program and data tracking system.

The Rethink Autism curriculum was designed by a team of trained clinicians and behavior analysts with years of experience developing and implementing ABA programs for children with autism. Each lesson breaks down complex skills into simple teaching steps, and includes a video model and written overview of the lesson. The program’s Developmental Milestones help parents and educators determine which goals are most appropriate, and offers tips and strategies for challenging behaviors.

The program also contains a training module for teachers, paraprofessionals, and parents. It covers helpful strategies and best practices in working with children on the autism spectrum. Each module is 7 to 10 minutes long, and helps all the adults in a child’s life respond consistently, which will improve outcomes across various environments.

The IEP Builder helps parents and teachers integrate ABA goals with the child’s IEP, fostering consistency between home and school. The program writes the IEP goals you, making the process of creating goals simple and effective. The costs for personal access will run close to $100 per month per child if paid on a monthly basis but annual plans are available.

The data tracking feature automatically creates graphs and progress reports in real time, making IEP meetings and parent-teacher conferences easy. These reports are available to everyone who is working with the child, helping the team to be consistent and to keep the lessons challenging.

There is also a feature to help educators create and implement behavior management plans, and to track data and progress.

Parents and educators alike are seeing excellent results from the Rethink Autism program. Latifa H. says,

“Without Rethink Autism my work could not be so effective and so successful – you really give me the right method and the right program for my son’s progress. . . During this month we have discovered a new child, he is smart, has great potential, and he learns so fast.”

Deb Swink, Special Education Director, Clinton School district, says,

“We have been using Rethink Autism in a special education classroom for 2 years and it has made an amazing impact on outcomes for our students with autism and staff members who utilize the program.”

For more information about Rethink Autism, visit their website at

About the author 

Laurel Joss

Laurel Joss is a freelance writer with a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She worked as an RDI® Program Certified Consultant and has published articles in Autism Spectrum Quarterly and on her blog She is a mother to two children, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. You can also follow her on and

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