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with Heather Gilmore, MSW, LLMSW, BCBA

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

What is ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis)? (FIND THIS AS A PARENT HANDOUT HERE in the One-Year ABA Parent Training Curriculum)

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.

ABA services include

  • focusing on generalization of skills,
  • monitoring of the treatment to ensure effective strategies are being used, or to modify the intervention if progress is not being made,
  • technological programming to create clear and concise intervention plans,
  • a focus on applied interventions which emphasize socially significant behaviors,
  • treatment is conceptually systematic in that it is based on scientific research,
  • analysis of the data to ensure effectiveness of the treatment,
  • and an emphasis on observable and measurable
ABA is an evidence-based treatment for children with autism and has also been found to be effective for many other populations and fields, as well, including education, child development, medicine, improving health (such as building healthy habits), etc.


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

Heather Gilmore, MSW, BCBA

Heather is a freelance writer, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), and social worker. Heather takes interest in topics related to parenting, children, families, personal development, health and wellness, applied behavior analysis, as well as Autism, ADHD, Depression and Anxiety. Contact Heather if you would like to inquire about obtaining her freelance writing services. You can view more articles and resources from Heather at and email her at [email protected] You can also advertise your autism services at one of Heather's websites: Heather is the developer of the "One-Year ABA Parent Training Curriculum."


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APA Reference
Gilmore, H. (2019). What is ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis)? ABA Parent Training Handout. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 6, 2020, from