The short explanation is that ABA focuses on specific behaviors, while DRBI focuses on the whole person.
Applied behavioral analysis (ABA), which has traditionally been the primary therapy offered for people on the autism spectrum, teaches skills to gain desired behaviors through reinforcement. ABA focuses on observable behaviors and aims to help patients meet predetermined developmental goals vs. individualistic goals.
DRBI looks beyond specific (and often stereotyped) behaviors like aggression, rigidity, and withdrawal to understand and address the neurodevelopmental challenges beneath the surface. These challenges may include motor planning, emotional self-regulation, sensory sensitivity, learning disabilities, and speech delays.