One of the most common definitions of applied behavior analysis – also known as ABA – is “the science in which tactics derived from the principles of behavior are applied to improve socially significant behavior and experimentation is used to identify the variables responsible for the improvement in behavior (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2014).”
To define ABA in other terms, ABA could be seen as a scientific field of study and practice which includes practices and concepts that are based upon concepts relating to human and/or animal behaviors. These concepts are used to help people (or animals) to obtain important life changes by addressing issues related to quality of life and things that are meaningful to them. These efforts are completed while also using experimental-like procedures to ensure that progress is being made and that the intervention (ABA services) is truly making a difference.
Let’s cover ten good things about ABA. This is just a sample list of the benefits and positive aspects of applied behavior analysis as there are many good things about ABA.
10 Good Things About ABA
- ABA is beneficial because it focuses on what is important to the client receiving ABA services (and/or the client’s caregiver such as their parent).
- Another good thing about ABA is that it uses the science of behavior to guide its practice and interventions. This area of science has been studied for decades and has ample evidence for the importance of behavioral concepts in everyday life.
- ABA has extensive evidence for its effectiveness in a variety of areas including autism, education, health and fitness, organizations, and much more.
- ABA services can give parents effective strategies to help their children lead more independent and fulfilling lives and increase the overall quality of life for the child, parent, and family unit.
- ABA can help people to work toward becoming their best selves (which is a lifelong process for all of us – it’s a journey not an end state to achieve).
- ABA can help people to become healthier through teaching them to improve healthy habits that impact their physical well-being as well as by improving their emotional and mental well-being through addressing things like values, goals, emotional regulation, executive functioning skills, and other relevant aspects of overall wellness.
- ABA can help people (children or adults) to become better at self-advocating for their needs.
- ABA can improve relationships between the client and others including the client and parent, the client and sibling, the client and peer, or the client and teacher.
- One good thing about ABA is that it focuses on ensuring that its own implementation is being effective through experimental practices like data collection and data analysis. Instead of just throwing interventions and strategies at a client, ABA wants to be sure to truly help those receiving ABA services.
- ABA is a good thing because it helps people improve their overall quality of life through individualized treatment planning that is designed specifically for the client receiving the services.
Cooper, Heron, & Heward. (2014). Applied Behavior Analysis. 2nd Edition. Pearson Education Limited.
Walsh M. B. (2011). The top 10 reasons children with autism deserve ABA. Behavior analysis in practice, 4(1), 72–79. doi:10.1007/BF03391777