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CABAS® is a research-based, direct instruction, system wide approach to teaching and learning that supports effective academic and behavioural outcomes for children with ASD. Students with autism require teachers who understand the disorder and the educational strategies that support learning for students with autism (Horner et al., 2005). Students are the centre of the system and most importantly all teaching decisions are driven by student outcomes.


The CABAS® model provides an individualised learning plan for each student, covering all necessary skills for a child to be successful in the school, home and community. In addition, the model indicates where instruction is needed to support the prerequisite skills that must be in place for the child to benefit from academic instruction. There are over 490 behavioural targets which are subdivided into academic literacy, communication, self-management for school, social self-management, community of reinforcers and physical/motor skills. Students are assessed on each repertoire with missing repertoires identified as instructional priorities.

The basic pupil to teacher interaction is referred to as a learn unit. Studies have shown that students learn 4 - 7 times more when learn units are in place than when they are absent or incomplete. In some regular classroom settings, students may wait as much as 30 minutes for the occurrence of a learn unit. In CABAS® settings, learn units occur on average four times per minute.

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Many children with ASD are excluded from school at some point because of presenting “difficult” or challenging behaviour. Mainstream social skills, such as obeying class rules and following class routines are critical for successful mainstream placement. CABAS® trained teachers can manage behaviours that would otherwise interfere with instruction and can apply research-based scientific tactics to remedy instructional and behavioural problems. Assessment of student performance is continual and embedded in the learning/teaching environment, so teachers can identify gaps in their students’ repertoires which could prevent them from making significant educational progress. The student drives the system because the teachers’ performance is measured based on their students’ performance.

CABAS® schools have been established around the world and are centres of excellence. For example, the Faison School for Autism is a non-profit autism centre dedicated to providing resources for children with autism spectrum disorders and their families. The Faison School represents a unique private/public partnership collaboration between a non-profit school and major university research partners: the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University, and the Teachers College at Columbia University. The Fred S. Keller School (FSK), named for the behaviour analyst and pioneer in experimental psychology, Fred Simmons Keller, has campuses in Yonkers


(Westchester County) and Palisades (Rockland County), New York. FSK is an internationally recognized behaviour analytic preschool and early intervention program for children from eighteen months through age five with and without disabilities. The school serves as a research and demonstration centre for state of the science differentiated instruction and curriculum-based assessment. Research reports children in the CABAS® systems learn 4 to 7 times more than control or baseline educational practices with which it has been compared. This research is published and available for examination.

For more information contact


For more detailed information on teacher training see CABAS RANK DESCRIPTIONS


For more information on CABAS® accreditation, email


Follow this link for more information on FASST science of teaching fasst cabas

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