What is ABA?

"Behavior analysis owes no affiliation with a particular intervention. It is a scientific problem-solving approach aimed at producing socially significant behavior changes for the purpose of improving quality of life for individuals, families & communities."
- Amanda Kelly, PhD, BCBA-D, BehaviorBabe

"Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) 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" (Bear, Wolf & Risley 1968).

Simply put, practitioners of ABA take a systematic approach to analyzing and changing human behaviors.

There are many misconceptions about ABA [Read more here]. One misconception is that ABA is only for behavior problems. This is not true. Any behavior that is observable and measurable can be increased, decreased or changed using the principles of applied behavior analysis. Our programs, for example, focus on everything from communication, to academics, to leisure and play skills, to independent living skills and health, sport & fitness skills.

ABA has become well-known as an effective treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Tested by research and experience for more than 35 years, ABA practices have been endorsed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Association for Science in Autism Research and the United States Surgeon General, who concluded that "years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and increasing communication, learning and appropriate social behavior."

However, ABA is not only for people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. ABA can also be used in a wide-range of other populations including typically developing children and adults and in a wide range of settings such organizational behavior management in corporations, addictions and gambling, depression, anxiety, eating disorders,sustainability and, as we do here at Behavior Basics, in the field of health, sports & fitness.

ABA is all about using evidence-based procedures based on the science of behavior to develop effective individualized programs that meet the person, family, organization or community's needs. Practitioners are clear and concise, focus on objective and measurable behaviors and consistently collect data so that they can monitor and evaluate the impact of their interventions. There really is no such thing as "ABA doesn't work," because whenever an intervention does not work, a good practitioner should make data- and research-driven modifications to their client's program, until they find what works!

Here at Behavior Basics we use the following approach to create our client's action plans: 

Brainstorm: what behaviors do you want to change

Assess: what skills already exist and what skills are missing

Set goals: goals are written in objective and measurable terms

Intervene: we use valid, reliable and evidence-based interventions

Collect data: the data is collected and used to track progress and make modifications as needed

See results: our end goal is always to see results! If we don't see results, we go back to the beginning and adjusts our goals and interventions until we see results!