History of ABA in Switzerland

Before 2004 there were no ABA services offered by public institutions in Switzerland. A small number of parents did however seek supervision out of foreign countries. Based on the initiative of parents, the CAPS (Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service) Zurich sent two psychologists to the Lovaas Institute in New Jersey for training. In 2004 the CAPS (which today’s ATZZ is a part of) started the first EIBI in German speaking Switzerland. Since then services have been expanded and more professionals have been trained. As of 2010 the BCBA Training became more accessible with the advent of online-training provided by international partners, approved by the BACB.


In 2004 ABA also made a breakthrough in the French speaking region of Switzerland. OVA was founded in 2004 through the initiative of a local group of parents whose children were diagnosed with autism. They were originally faced with a significant lack of trained professionals as well as a lack of effective therapy. As such, they searched abroad for scientifically based interventions and in Canada, these parents discovered ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis). Motivated by the potential of this therapy, they decided to create a partnership with Canadian Behaviour Analysts to establish a training of local professionals in the French region of Switzerland. Thanks to these newly trained ABA professionals, home-based interventions developed rapidly along with a growing demand for more services.


In 2007, the association opened a training and intervention centre in Gland, Switzerland. It does not benefit from any subsidies, only private donations and parents’ financial contributions allow the centre to function. The centre can welcome 12 children followed by 12 instructor therapists and BCBA supervisors as well as an administrative department.


In 2019, OVA remain the only centre providing ABA services in French Switzerland. However, many professionals, former OVA team members or others, do offer home based ABA intervention.