6 Things You Absolutely Must Know About What Makes A Good ABA Therapist In Singapore

#1. Keep a close eye on programmes, clinicians and children’s development

Having plenty of quality training experience and supervision are the utmost crucial criteria for all ABA therapists. The most common training is board-certified behaviour analysts (BCBAs) training. To quickly identify whether an ABA Therapist in Singapore can be trusted or not, spot if there is any scientific evidence to back up their ABA programmes. You can also check whether the centre practises a mandatory system whereby an inexperienced or young therapist must always be supervised by an experienced BCBA.

At Autism Recovery Network (ARN), we’re the Only BACB(ACE) Certified ABA Centre in Southeast Asia. We strive to provide quality and effective ABA programmes to all children with autism.

Other questions that you can ask include:

Did the therapist give full attention to your child during sessions?
Will the same therapist always be working with your child?
Where has the therapist worked before, how long did they stay in their previous workplace, and who trained them?
Why did they leave their previous job?
Has the therapist packed the schedule too tightly? They may get burnt out or too tired.
Does the therapist plan to move far away, change employers, go for further studies, or give birth?

#2. Know who they are working with because any professional working in fields that are unrelated to Autism can also be an ABA Therapist in Singapore

It can be confusing for parents, especially when different countries have different rules for practising ABA. Other professionals can also practise ABA (e.g. speech-language pathologists, clinical psychologists, and occupational therapists).

There are also different approaches to ABA, from a rigid structure to a play-based system. The training of the practitioners who implement the various techniques also has their own unique methods.

#3. Parents have the right to be selective about the ABA Therapist they will be working with.  

The most highly credentialed practitioners of ABA are called BCBAs, also known as Board Certified Behavior Analysts. To obtain this credential, the therapist must receive at least a master’s degree in a related field such as speech therapy, early childhood, special education or psychology. 

Subsequently, the therapist also goes through at least 400 hours of training by a highly qualified supervisor, such as Dr James Partingon. He is the only Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral® (BCBA-D®) in Asia that has worked directly with ASD children since the start of his career till now. 

To finally obtain their BCBA certification, the therapist must complete at least 1,500 hours of fieldwork while under the supervision of a senior BCBA supervisor.

#4. Therapists In Singapore Who Are BCBA Qualified Do Not All Have Equal Skill Sets.

Although the Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) qualifications require a supervised internship, it does not set standards regarding the type of training, the amount of training, and the trainer’s qualification. Here’s a simple illustration.

Therapist ATherapist B
Attended only the online courses to achieve the certificationAttended both online courses and physical hands-on training with children to achieve the certification
1500 hours of training1500 hours of training
BCBA certifiedBCBA certified
Trained by a trainer with unrelated experienceTrained by a trainer with years of experience in working with children with autism
ABA trainedABA-VB trained
Only Multiple-choice paper-and-pencil examsA mix of Multiple-choice paper-and-pencil & Open-ended exams

If you are looking for ABA-VB therapy for your child, which of the above therapists would you want to work with and trust more? 

The above illustration is to help you understand that it is possible to obtain a BCBA qualification with little practical experience, limited training in clinical work, and limited hours of engagement with the child’s caretakers.

Although there are approximately 45,000 BCBA’s around the world, Dr James Partington, PhD., BCBA-D, is one of the most well known, revered and respected practitioners in the field of working with Autism children. In other words, would you rather have the dean or the student working with your child?

5. Always find out if the programme is updated or outdated.

Do not believe in statements that seem too good to be true. We urge you to always ask for facts and/ or proof to back up a centre’s promise or guarantees.

It can be frustrating to find the most updated curriculum, especially when the complexity of autism is constantly evolving and many centres are still offering outdated programmes to children. Yes, the shocking truth is that there are centres in Singapore that are offering outdated ABA-VB programmes to children. 

At ARN, we are the only ABA-VB service provider in Asia endorsed by the founder himself, Dr James Partingon, Ph.D., BCBA-D. 

Dr Partington oversees and steers the application and advancement of ARN’s unique ABA-VB methodology in our curriculum development. Hear directly from Dr Partigton for yourself and read more on Finally revealed: Why institutions & parents from all over the world want to work with Dr James Partington.

#6. Check the overall ABA experience

Parents and educators who seek to engage an ABA therapist should look beyond simple qualifications (e.g. BCBA, Master’s Degrees). We’ve compiled a comprehensive master checklist to help you be absolutely sure that your child is in the safest hand of a good therapist to grow and develop effectively. The therapist must fulfil the following traits.

Has obtained a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Psychology, Child Development.
They are not just simply “employing the principles of ABA” but actually trained in ABA.
Has received constant refresher training & their last training was within the past 1 month.
Has extensive experience working with people diagnosed with autism, preferably children.
Enjoys interacting with children and has a personal passion for helping them grow.
Has a high-energy level to handle long hours of working with children.
Has a pleasant attitude, reliable, responsive, and patient with parents.
Open-minded to constructive suggestions and directions.
☑ Bonus: Observe how the therapist interacts with the children.
☑ Bonus: Do a background check on the therapist with their present and previous employers.
Bonus: Do a background check on the specialist/ expert/ professional that trains and teaches the therapist.


At ARN, we use our own unique and scientifically proven Verbal Behavior (ABA-VB) therapy to help children with autism, or other developmental delays recover. Our therapists attend the best ABA training in Asia with the Best Behavior Analyst In Southeast Asia, Ph.D., BCBA-D Certified.  

If you would like to dive deeper into our programmes and learn about the services that we offer, get in touch with us today.

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