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What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

Applied Behavior Analysis is the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors to a meaningful degree, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement in behavior.

-Baer, Wolf & Risley, 1968; Sulzer-Azaroff & Mayer, 1991

What can ABA be used for?

The short answer is: almost anything. If it is a behavior, and it can be observed, ABA principles exist that can be used to either increase or decrease that behavior. As a discipline, ABA providers are charged with the improvement of socially significant behaviors. Socially significant behaviors include communication, social skills, academics, reading and adaptive living skills such as gross and fine motor skills, toileting, dressing, eating, personal self-care, domestic skills, and work skills.

Is there an easy way to explain what ABA is all about?

Yes! We have found that, very often, behavior analysis uses tricky terms to explain exactly what it is. When, in fact, it is actually quite simple. We have found this downloadable manual to be very user-friendly and a good start point for parents.

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