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Applied Behavior Analysis

What is ABA?

Unfortunately there are a lot of misconceptions about ABA. Some of these misconceptions are warranted because there are service providers who erroneously claim that they are following an ABA approach, when in fact, they are not.

The most common misconceptions about ABA are:

  1. That ABA is just for young children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), and

  2. That ABA is synonymous with Discrete Trial Training (DTT) 

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Stacking Blocks

First, ABA is not just an approach for individuals diagnosed with ASD. Behavior analysis is a domain of psychology that focuses on understanding behavior (both "good" and "bad") and how it is affected by the environment. Applied behavior analysis is the use of scientifically-validated teaching techniques to bring about positive changes in behavior (regardless of age or diagnosis).

Kids Painting

​Second, ABA does not equal Discrete Trial Training (DTT). Quality ABA services involve a range of teaching techniques (e.g. structured, play-based, incidental, etc.) all designed to improve skill deficits in an individual’s natural setting to help them become more independent. The focus is on identifying an individual’s developmental age (i.e. how old they are), versus their functional age (i.e. how they behave), and helping to resolve any gaps in development


At CABA we focus on reinforcement-based approaches to decrease challenging behaviors by increasing more appropriate communication and self-regulation skills for individuals with and without autism across the lifespan.

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