Behavior Therapy

What is Behavior Therapy?

Behaviour support can help children and their families prevent or reduce behaviours of concern, which usually occur when a child’s needs are not being met by their environment, further impacting their quality of life. Our experienced psychologists and behaviour support practitioners use an evidence-based model called The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is a behavioral therapy for children with autism. It is based on the methods of applied behavior analysis (ABA).

Parents and therapists use play to build positive and fun relationships. Through play and joint activities, the child is encouraged to boost language, social and cognitive skills. It focuses on a range of preventative strategies to assist with developing new skills, communicating effectively, managing emotions and so much more.

Behavioural therapy takes a collaborative and capacity building approach by engaging and working with the family, their educators and other health professionals. This ensures that the important people in the child’s life have the right tools to support their behaviour in all environments.

Behaviours of concern present differently in different people. It is important to remember that some behaviours perceived as being of concern may be age-appropriate, for example, a three-year-old not wanting to share or wait their turn. Others challenges may be because the child has learning difficulties, a medical condition or with disability.

How can behaviour therapy help?

Every child is different, and the goals will depend on their individual needs. Some aims of behaviour support may include:

  • Helping families and carers to identify causes of behaviour
  • Empowering children to communicate their needs in appropriate ways
  • Providing children with strategies to express or regulate their emotions
  • Implementing environmental adaptations to support the child
  • Reducing tantrums, aggression and other disruptive behaviour
  • Teaching appropriate replacement behaviours
  • Increasing compliance and following instructions
  • Improving school performance and attention


There are a number of signs which could indicate your child may benefit from positive behaviour support. These may include:

  • Presenting with behaviour that is disruptive or concerning
  • Difficulty coping with big changes or transitions in life
  • Experienced trauma and is unable to cope
  • Expressing frustration, anger or aggression
  • Non-compliance and school refusal
  • Signs of withdrawal and anxiety
  • Sibling conflict and rivalry
  • Lacking impulse control
  • Poor communication skills
  • Poor concentration skills
  • Poor social skills
  • Toileting issues