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What Is Applied Behavior Analyisis (ABA)?

Working on a Computer

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the scientific study of behavior to understand how biological, environmental, and other factors influence and change behavior over time.

As behavior analysts and therapists, we seek to understand behavior and the impact of the physical or social environment on behavior.

ABA is not just for children or those on the spectrum. It can be used for all individuals and throughout the lifespan.

ABA helps us understand:

How and why behavior occurs

How to set up our environment for success

How an individual learns best

ABA helps us:

Adapt to each learner, and create individualized programming.

Apply skills learned in any environment – generalizing to home, school, and the community

Decrease challenging behaviors based on environmental changes

Use research-based, scientific methods focused on decreasing challenging behavior and promoting positive reinforcement.

Increase pro-social, communication strategies

Create individual strategies for a wide variety of behavioral disorders.


There are many ways in which ABA can be used, including:

Nursery Play
  • Discrete Trial Training (DTT)

  • Naturalistic Environment Training (NET)

  • Verbal Behavior (VB)

  • Relational Frame Theory (RFT)

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Pivotal Response Training (PRT)

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