Have you ever tried modifying someone’s behavior? I am sure it has crossed your mind at some point! Through years of empirical research (dating back to the early 1900s), we now have an effective, methodological treatment to effect change in others. This treatment falls under the branch of the behavioral sciences known as applied behavior analysis.

What is ABA? Applied behavior analysis, or ABA, is an evidence-based behavior therapy that focuses on developing socially appropriate behaviors in patients, while reducing maladaptive behaviors, such as aggression or non-compliance.

Who is it effective with? ABA can be effective across all cohorts ranging from children to seniors. It is most commonly practiced as a therapeutic intervention for individuals on the autism spectrum as well as those diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, brain injuries, and other behavioral challenges. According to the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts it is even effective in reducing workplace injuries and improving athletic performance.

Where do behavior analyst’s work? Behavior analysts can work in a wide variety of settings, including homes, workplaces, schools, clinics and other natural environments.

What do behavior analyst’s do? ABA analysts evaluate patients’ behaviors to develop treatment plans to improve their communication and behavioral skills over time. Patients’ treatment plans depend on their individual needs, and ABA interventions require continuous evaluation, monitoring and data collection each session.

What are the different levels in certification? Each level requires a certain level of education. For instance, to become a registered behavior technician (RBT), a high school diploma is required. To become a board-certified assistant behavior analyst (BCaBA), an undergraduate degree in psychology or related field is required. A master’s degree is required for a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA). Lastly, a doctorate is needed to become a board-certified behavior analyst-doctoral (BCBA-D). Visit www.bacb.com for more information.