Difference Between ABA and IBI (With Table)

Autism is a developmental disorder where the kids (the usual targets) face major problems with social skills, verbal as well as non-verbal communication with a major issue of repetitive behaviour which can be improved by only the two approaches, namely, ABA and IBI. Both are used for curing children suffering from autism.


The main difference between ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) and IBI (Intensive Behaviour Intervention) is that ABA takes to 2 to 6 months and help the autistic kid to get better. It can be used to cure multiple disorders. On the other hand, IBI specifically cures autism and takes 2-3 years for treatment.

ABA can be understood as a set of fundamentals used for breaking complex tasks into simple steps which are easy to learn. It is used for people having difficulty in learning, facing disorders like autism or developmental issues. It is applicable and suggested for kids at the initial stages of the disorder.

IBI is based on the principles of ABA. It is specifically used for autism treatment in a long run. It is more professional in approach. Trainers are required for this procedure. Besides, it is used for mild to intense autism therapy.

Comparison table between ABA and IBI

Parameters of ComparisonABAIBI
Duration2-6 months2-3 years
TargetSocially challenged kidsKids with autism
CuesVerbal and non-verbalphysical
Other BenefitsImproves social skillsnone
ApplicableBy home residents alsoBy trained professional
EffectivenessTill the age of 18 yearsmostly non-applicable for above 5 years.

What is ABA?

ABA, which stands for Applied Behaviour Analysis, is a light behavioural analysis and improvement approach or technique applicable to kids with social disorders, especially autism, yet this technique can treat the same social constraints like ADHD, substance abuse that applies to lads up to the age of 18 years.

Here, kids are taught valuable skills like brushing and more to control the physical aggression and make them prepared for studying with the normally able children. To teach kids, the tasks are divided into small parts and working on a single topic can take up to 6 months yet the improvement is focus centric which means, working on specific skill till it is mastered.

It is possible to win a new skill through the ABA approach. The process involves sitting and working for two to four hours per day for the next 2-6 months, and to add, this approach also involves both the reinforcement styles namely being negative and positive reinforcements.

This approach gradually targets the personal life of the client and make changes according to the call. It uses scientific principles on a variety of behaviours to teach the sufferers how to develop socially.

This procedure also helps to find the valuable skills hidden in the kid and enhance them by working on a lot of things. The last thing about it is that it is applicable and can be practised by and around the people in the personal life of the autistic kid.

This makes it more natural for a kid to grow over the syndrome alongside improving their social skills.

What is IBI?

IBI, which stands for Intensive Behaviour Intervention, is also a Behaviour improvement technique to improve and make better the social disorder status of the autistic kid.

It is the same as ABA but with some major updates involving an increase of time taken to work upon the kid with the disorder, which is 20-40 hours for 2-3 years, when kids are assisted by a trained professional in the field. This approach is, in fact, pretty intense and takes a gradual process where kids may be taught in one on one basis or in small groups.

A thing to note is that this approach is not applicable after the kid turns 5 because the mind of kids are volatile, while the kid can be taught in the centre or home. This approach uses behavioural concepts to make the autistic kids even more prepared to study along with normal able kids.

Main Differences Between ABA and IBI

  1. The biggest difference between both is the stint, where the course for ABA is short which counts across 2-4 hours per week training for 2 to 6 months whereas IBI has a longer length which counts across 20-40 hours of intense training till one skill is mastered for next 2-3 years.
  2. ABA is a lighter approach as compared to IBI whereas IBI is a far more tiring and lengthy process for kids along being tough.
  3. Where ABA focuses on both verbal and non-verbal cues for improvement, IBI focuses only on physical cues and tasks to make a heavy impact on kids behaviour and mind.
  4. ABA is also applicable for other social disorders like ADHD and substance abuse whereas IBI is only autism centric.
  5. ABA is a more reliable process where it is valid up to kids till the age of 18 years but IBI is a shorter span process with validation only up to 5 years with going completely void for kids elder than 5 years which is a big drawback for IBI.


ABA (which stands for Applied Behaviour Analysis) and IBI (which stands for Intensive Behaviour Intervention) are techniques applied by medical professionals to help children suffering mainly from autism.

It is a specialised behavioural concept applied to mentally challenged children to improve behaviours and sometimes change the kids who are comparatively slower to normally able juveniles. This article is a detailed analysis and logical difference between the two approaches used to change the problematic behaviours of children suffering from autism.

Another thing to note is both approaches are applied according to need while ABA (Applied Behaviour Intervention) can be applied and practised by the people involved in the personal life of the autistic kid. They can practise the behaviour improving method for faster results whereas it is not the same for IBI (Intensive Behaviour Intervention) which involves intensive care of the kid for a longer time span until a major improvement is visible.

These methods have been developed to treat a disorder that is more unfashioned disorder with pretty less treatments available.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/108835760101600202
  2. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/426530/summary