What is ABA?


ABA, in short, is the science of behaviour change. It is the study of how environmental variables impact the way that people behave in a variety of circumstances. ABA as a field has many applications, including in health care, business, sustainability and conservation, education, and many others. 

ABA therapy is the application of behavioural principles and the science of behaviour analysis to create meaningful and lasting change in the lives of individuals. ABA therapy follows several general tenets, including: 

  1. Focused on meaningful areas that are socially significant

  2. We define, track and focus on observable behaviour, so we know when our goal is met

  3. We monitor progress consistently to ensure we are moving towards our goals

  4. If progress is not being made, we take note and adjust accordingly 

  5. We rely on information from published research within the technology of behaviour analysis to guide our interventions

  6. We ensure that behaviour change occurs in a generalized manner, so that individuals are able to demonstrate skills across environments, people, materials, activities, or whatever might be significant for that person and that skill.

In many ways, ABA is the science of teaching and learning, and behaviour analysts are an essential and indispensable member of an ESDM treatment team. As Rogers & Dawson note, "Expertise in behaviour analysis is critical for the full realization of the [ESDM] model." (Rogers & Dawson, 2010, p. 44). Behaviour Analysis also has a long history of involvement in Autism treatment, and behaviour analysts often have extensive experience not only in the science of behaviour, but also with the unique characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

See below for an informative video from the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board answering the question, "What is ABA?" Or click here to read more on their website.