Applied Behavior Analysis

Mother holding child in arms, both laughing, credit Mizuno K from Pexels.

Applied Behavior Analysis

What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a natural science of human behavior that applies evidence-based strategies in real-world settings, such as clinics or schools, with the aim of improving issues of social importance (e.g., behavior problems, skill acquisition).

When is ABA useful?

ABA interventions are typically address specific skill deficits, such as social skills or self-care skills, or other behavioral concerns (e.g., aggression, self-injury, disruptive behavior, pica). For behavioral concerns, we usually assess why the behavior is developing an individualized, function-based treatment. Typically, treatments involve teaching the child more appropriate ways to communicate wants and needs, changing how we react to problem behavior, and teaching the child how to tolerate delays and denials.

Is ABA effective?

ABA interventions have proven effective at addressing a wide range of behavioral concerns with many different individuals. Decades of research have shown that ABA interventions are effective in reducing problem behavior and establishing adaptive skills in children, adolescents and adults with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (including autism spectrum disorder) in home, school, clinic, community and industry settings.

Common features of all ABA interventions include:

Is Applied Behavior Analysis evidence based?

Based on the empirical evidence, many scientific, government and professional agencies and organizations have concluded that ABA-based procedures represent best practice for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder.


How do I learn more about ABA?