Frequently Asked Questions

Social ABCs Training

What is the “Social ABCs”?

The Social ABCs is an evidence-based, parent-led, early intervention program designed for toddlers, aged 12-36 months who are displaying social and/or communication challenges which may be signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This program was developed by psychologists, Jessica Brian and Susan Bryson, and falls under the umbrella of Naturalistic Developmental Behavioural Interventions (NDBIs).

What are the main targets of the Social ABCs?

  • The Social ABCs has two main targets:
  1.   Fostering vocal social communication that is intentional, directed, & functional
  2.   Encouraging positive emotion sharing between toddler and caregiver

Who uses the Social ABCs strategies?

The Social ABCs strategies are taught to parents to use with their toddlers. Coaches use a combination of didactic teaching and live coaching to help parents learn to use these strategies. Parent Coaches are professionals from a range of disciplines (e.g., Psychology, Speech-Language Pathology, Behaviour Analysis, Early Childhood Education, etc.) who ideally have 3 or more years of experience working with young children with autism and their families. To become a Parent Coach, individuals must successfully complete formal training with the Social ABCs expert team.

    What are the staffing and oversight requirements needed to receive Social ABCs training?

    The training team should have 2 to 4 committed staff to be trained as Parent Coaches. Within this group, one or two trainees must be identified as the ‘Site Lead(s)’. Each team being trained must also include clinical oversight by a regulated health care practitioner.

      How much time is required of staff training in the Social ABCs?

      It takes approximately 6 months and ~150 hours to be trained as a Social ABCs Parent Coach. Training times will differ based on experience and dedicated practice time.

        Where does training take place?

        The training will include a combination of virtual training and in-person training (if permitted based on Covid-19 restrictions).

          What is included in the training package?

          Didactic learning sessions, observation of sessions led by the Expert Team, weekly supervision meetings with the Expert Team (tapering over time), coaching manual, parent manuals, and the Social ABCs parent didactic presentation slides in power point format.

            Is there a certification process?

            Yes. Certification involves achieving program fidelity, with an annual re-certification process.

              Can I purchase the coaching or parent manual to learn the Social ABCs on my own?

              No, manuals are not available for purchase outside of the context of training.

                Is there a cost for accessing training?

                Yes. The cost of training will vary depending on the size of your team, the Social ABCs program model you are interested in, and organization-specific training needs.

                  What are the language requirements for training?

                  The Social ABCs training team offers staff training in English. The parent manual is available in English and French. Given that the Social ABCs team is training worldwide, we will be as flexible as possible to support trainees intending to provide Social ABCs to families in other languages. 

                    Where can I learn about the research supporting Social ABCs?

                    More information about the research evidence can be found here:


                      I am from an academic institution and am interested in a research partnership.

                      Please Contact Us directly through the contact page on our website.

                        I have read the FAQs, what are my next steps?

                        If you would like to train a team to implement a Social ABCs program within your organization, please fill out our Program Readiness Form and submit it to contact@socialabcs.ca. We will review the information you provide and get back to you!