Zuzana Maštenová, BCBA

Zuzana Maštenová is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who graduated with a Master’s degree in Psychology from Prešov University, Slovakia, in June 2004. Upon relocating to the UK, she began her career in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), focusing on supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as a behavior therapist in both home and school-based programs.

Subsequently, after completing her BCBA coursework, she returned to Slovakia and co-founded VIA ABA, o.z., a non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to delivering evidence-based instruction to children with autism.

Through VIA ABA, Zuzana is committed to disseminating information about ABA and evidence-based practices in autism treatment, providing training for parents and professionals, and organizing practical workshops, presentations, and conferences.

Presentation at the ABA International Conference 2024


Step by step: Parent-Mediated Early Intervention program for autism targeting early social interaction and communication skills


In countries where Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is not government-funded or supported by health insurance, accessing early intervention services for children with autism can be challenging. Drawing on evidence-based approaches, we highlight the effectiveness of parent-mediated interventions particularly focusing on play based teaching in natural environments with emphasis on supporting early social and communication skills. The Step by step program is a 3-month parent-mediated intervention designed to develop social communication skills in young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Parents receive individual behavioral skills training at the centre for 2 hours per week over 12 training sessions. During these sessions, they learn how to promote social interaction, communication, imitation and play skills to stimulate child’s development. Parents then engage in 3 hours of planned activities each day , applying the strategies they learned during traning. The program is based on a naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention, using reinforcement naturally embedded in play and creating learning opportunities during everyday activities.

We emphasize the pivotal role parents play in the treatment team and advocate for their integration into every intervention program for children with autism.