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What is ABA?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior.


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior. ABA understands how behavior works, how the environment affects that behavior, and how we learn in our environment. In ABA therapy, we use this understanding to help increase behaviors such as communication, living skills, social skills, decrease problem behavior, and increase independent skills to use in home, school, occupation, or in social settings.


At FOCUS, we practice ABA, which uses systematic, evidence-based methods to improve socially significant behaviors in children with autism. ABA encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative behaviors to improve a variety of skills, which is also tracked and measured for progress.

ABA is accepted among many healthcare professionals and used in schools, homes, in the community, and centers.

Each ABA program is different and individual designed for the needs of your child. The goals of each program are customized for the learner’s skills, needs, interests, preferences, and family concerns. Skills learning is broken down into steps, so skills are learned proficiently and accurately. As the learner progresses, the skills become more complex.

Learning occurs everywhere, so at FOCUS we have multiple learning environments to provide opportunities for learning and practicing in a naturalistic setting. Learning can occur on the playground, classroom, centers, and group and social time.

According to reports by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Research Council, behavior and communication approaches that help children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) are those that provide structure, direction, and organization for the child in addition to family participation. (1)

1. Hyman SL, Levey SE, Myers SM, Council on Children with Disabilities, Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Identification, Evaluation, and Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Peditarics. 2020 Jan;145(1).