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What is ABA?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the science of behavior, which is based on the premise that attempts to improve the human condition through behavior change principles. ABA is considered an evidence-based best practice treatment by the US Surgeon General, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Institute of Mental Health for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).


ABA is best known for its success in treating individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (e.g., Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities) but used in other populations such as schools/classrooms, organizational behavior management, and behavioral health and more. Treatment in this area of ASD is effective across an individual’s lifespan (i.e., childhood, adolescence, adulthood). In young children with developmental disabilities such as ASD, the goal of intensive, comprehensive intervention is to improve cognitive, language, social, and self-help skills.


Decades of research have shown that intensive ABA treatment is the most successful approach for children with autism. When applied to older individuals, ABA involves teaching behaviors essential to functioning effectively in the home, school, and community. ABA can also decrease severe problem behaviors that endanger health and safety, and limit educational, residential, or vocational options.

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