with Heather Gilmore, MSW, LLMSW, BCBA


The Purpose of ABA According to the BACB Guidelines (with tips for parent training)

In the executive summary of the ABA Guidelines for ASD developed by the BACB, the following statement is made:

"The purpose of this document is to inform decision-making regarding the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to treat medically necessary conditions so as to develop, maintain, or restore, to the maximum extent practicable, the functioning of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in ways that are both efficacious and cost effective."

Let's take a closer look at what...


ABA Parent Training – Research Review and Tips

Let's review some of the research that has been published on the topic of applied behavior analysis parent training.
Pyramidal Training Model of ABA Parent Training
One study, by Conklin and Wallace (2019) used behavioral skills training in the format of a pyramidal model to train parents on how to use differential reinforcement of alternative behaviors (DRA).

The behavior analysts taught half the parents to use the DRA procedure. This was completed in a group setting. Then these parents...


Four Functions of Behavior – Basic ABA Concept with Examples

In applied behavior analysis, it is believed that all behavior occurs for a reason. Technically speaking, behavior analysts look at this idea with the behavioral principle that behavior is maintained by a function. In the ABA field, there are four functions of behavior.
4 Functions of Behavior


The individual behaves in order to get out of or avoid doing something he/she does not want to do.

EXAMPLE: Child throws ABA materials on the ground and is no longer required to complete the task that was presented to him or her. Child learns that throwing materials on the ground will get him or her out of having to do the work.
EXAMPLE: Child puts his head down on the desk when presented with academic work. Child is not expected to finish the academic work. Child learns that putting his head down on the desk will get him out of doing the non-preferred task of academic work.


What is ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis)? ABA Parent Training Handout

What is ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis)? (FIND THIS AS A PARENT HANDOUT HERE)
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. ABA is systematic – meaning, ABA intervention is thoroughly planned and monitored to provide the best results and evaluate effectiveness of any intervention.

ABA is based on the principles of learning theory which provides ABA service providers a foundation for basing their services on scientific research and evidence based on human behavior and how people learn.

ABA focuses on improving socially significant behaviors. The treatment goals, programs, and targets that are selected to be worked on in treatment in ABA are meaningful and important for your child and your family. Socially significant means that working on that behavior or goal will help improve the life of your child.

ABA attempts to demonstrate that skill acquisition and improvements in behaviors are due to the treatment, that the interventions employed are responsible for the progress being made. To do this, ABA providers take data and analyze the data.


Restricted, Repetitive Behaviors in ASD Population & Automatic Reinforcement

Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by:

Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction as demonstrated by

deficits in social-emotional reciprocity,
deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, and
deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships

Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities as demonstrated by at least two of the following:

Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech
Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns...


Receptive Identification in ABA & Its Application to the Natural Environment

Listening to a speaker and comprehending what that speaker is saying is an essential skill for all people. Children with autism spectrum disorder often struggle with this skill of communication. This ability is referred to as receptive language skills. Sometimes it is known as listener skills or even auditory comprehension (Fischer, et. al., 2019).

Receptive identification of visual stimuli is a common goal for many children with autism spectrum disorder receiving applied behavior analysis. This is...

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder? – Idea for ABA Parent Training Curriculum

Need a topic to cover in your ABA parent training services? Consider addressing the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Help parents understand what this diagnosis means for their child.


Autism spectrum disorder (also referred to as “autism”) has a set of symptoms or behaviors that capture what someone with this disorder is likely to experience or what behaviors they may display. However, the disorder is referred to as a spectrum for a reason. The definition of the word spectrum is “used to classify something, or suggest that it can be classified, in terms of its position on a scale between two extreme or opposite points.” This definition of the word spectrum relates to the identified symptoms or behaviors seen in individuals with autism.

12 ABA Parent Training Goal Ideas

Are you an ABA service provider (a BCBA, BCaBA, or other clinician providing ABA services)? Does part of your job include creating goals for applied behavior analysis parent training services? We have created a list of ideas that you may consider using for the purpose of ABA parent training goals. Be sure to reference your employer’s requirements and the funding source requirements for individualizing each goal to the client you are working with.