What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?
Behavior is everything people do and say, such as asking for help, clearing one’s place after a meal, or playing a game with a peer. Behavior analysis is a science focused on the behavior of people that attempts to understand and predict behavior. Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing appropriate and functional behaviors and reducing behaviors that cause harm or interfere with learning. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the use of these techniques and principles to create meaningful and positive changes in behavior. These changes may include increasing communication, social skills, or adaptive behavior, such as eating and toileting, and decreasing disruptive behavior, such as tantrums and self-injurious, aggressive, or ritualistic behavior. Contrary to many people's understanding of ABA, it is not exclusively relevant to children with autism but rather is a dynamic and comprehensive science that provides evidence-based interventions for a wide variety of challenges that are common across the lifespan.