Applied Behavior Analysis
Practiced or overseen by BCBAs, applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a process used by trained professionals to analyze, design, implement, and evaluate behavior and complementary modifications to produce positive changes. Behavior analysts examine the relationship between environment and behavior through observation, standards of measurement, and functional analysis. Using specialized assessments, ABA practitioners find opportunities to change the environmental factors that influence behavior, resulting in meaningful and practical behavioral shifts.
The goal of applied behavior analysis therapy is to increase useful behaviors while reducing behaviors that are harmful or counterproductive to learning. Individualized treatment is a hallmark of ABA, allowing for greater success with challenging disorders that tend to vary widely from person to person. A certified behavior analyst provides customized interventions that suit each person’s needs, skills, interests, preferences, and family structure.
What is ABA Therapy or Treatment?
Applied behavior analysis therapy is a widely recognized and scientifically validated approach to treating autism spectrum disorders. As a behavioral health treatment for autism, ABA emphasizes modifying an individual’s learning and social environments to address the problems of the disorder.
The use of applied behavior analysis is not exclusive to the treatment of autism only. It is also effective in treating symptoms of other conditions, including dementia, destructive behavior, developmental disabilities, pediatric feeding disorders, substance abuse, traumatic brain injury, and more.
- BACB — Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (PDF)
- Autism Speaks — Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Note: This information is current for the 2019-20 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.