Home » Pro » Reflections on Applied Behavior Analysis » Treatment Planning: Goal Setting within an ABA Parent Training Treatment Plan

with Heather Gilmore, MSW, LLMSW, BCBA

Treatment Planning: Goal Setting within an ABA Parent Training Treatment Plan

Treatment Planning

Treatment planning is an important part of any clinical service. Treatment planning helps both the service provider and the client.

Focus on Goals

In the context of ABA parent training, treatment planning helps ensure that treatment remains focused on established goals. Within the treatment planning process, a parent collaborates with the service provider to identify meaningful (or socially significant) goals that will help the parent, their child, and/or the family as a whole.

Goals for Child, Parent, and Provider

A treatment plan for a recipient of ABA parent training services should not solely focus on how the identified child will change. It should address the goals related to the parent. It is also helpful if goals are identified for what the service provider will accomplish, as well.

Goals for Service Provider

For instance, the treatment plan could include identifying that the service provider (the parent trainer) will offer 4 parent training sessions per month, will provide parent with tangible reading material on at least 4 different behavior change strategies per month, and that they will provide parent with a written progress report quarterly.

There are many other possible goals that could be included in terms of what the service provider will contribute to the treatment. Those are just a few examples.

Goals for Parent

The treatment plan could address countless different goals for a parent.

  • This could that the parent will attend a certain number of sessions (such as 3 out of 4 sessions) per month.
  • Or the goals could be related to things the parent will do with their child such as that the parent will create and utilized a chore chart or a token system with their child.
  • Lastly, the goals for the parent could be what the parent will do in their interactions with the service provider, such as that they will return a data sheet at 3 of 4 sessions per month.

Goals for Child

A treatment plan, in ABA parent training, could also specify what the parent would like to see changed in their child’s behaviors or functioning.

By indicating this in the treatment plan, the other aspects of the plan such as the parent’s goals and the service provider’s goals, can be more focused.

Developing an Effective Treatment Plan in ABA Parent Training Services

All of the goals and the treatment planning process will be easier to develop and more effective if you know what the larger purpose of the services is all about (i.e. what the parent wants to see change for their child).

After collaborating with parents to find out what their primary concerns are in regards to their child, you can then identify parent goals and provider goals that will support addressing these concerns.

Additionally, you can identify specific strategies to use to accomplish the identified goals.

Treatment Planning: Goal Setting within an ABA Parent Training Treatment Plan

Heather Gilmore, MSW, BCBA

Heather is a freelance writer, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), and social worker. Heather takes interest in topics related to parenting, children, families, personal development, health and wellness, applied behavior analysis, as well as Autism, ADHD, Depression and Anxiety. Contact Heather if you would like to inquire about obtaining her freelance writing services. You can view more articles and resources from Heather at and email her at You can also advertise your autism services at one of Heather's websites: Heather is the developer of the "One-Year ABA Parent Training Curriculum."


No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment

APA Reference
Gilmore, H. (2020). Treatment Planning: Goal Setting within an ABA Parent Training Treatment Plan. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2020, from