Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a science dedicated to making meaningful changes in behavior. ABA involves teaching and maintaining new skills, and reducing challenging behavior that interferes with daily living. Individualized goals are identified for each child. These skills are broken down into small steps and are taught one at a time using practice and positive reinforcement. ABA uses a variety of clinically proven teaching procedures including incidental play-based instruction, discrete trial teaching, video modeling, photo and text schedules, natural environment language teaching, peer instruction, and social skills groups. As initial skills are mastered, more complex skills are addressed to build on prior success,and reinforcement systems are faded to more natural schedules.Teaching is focused on generalization of skills, to ensure each child’s achievements will transfer across different settings and people, and will be beneficial in “real world” environments. As skills are taught, data are collected to objectively monitor progress to be sure each child reaches his or her full potential. Many peer reviewed research studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of ABA for people of all ages, with different needs or diagnoses.

What Skills Can ABA Address?


such as making eye contact.


such as requesting snacks or toys, following directions, and answering questions.

Social Interactions

such as showing things to other people, making comments during play, and responding to emotions of others.


such as completing a puzzle independently or playing a game with a peer.

Daily Living

such as toileting, eating, sleeping, dressing, washing hands, and brushing teeth.

Community Inclusion

such as eating in a restaurant, walking with adults, making a purchase in a store, or attending an event (e.g., birthday party, religious ceremony).

Who is Qualified to Develop and Supervise ABA programs?

Board Certification

A Board Certified Behavior Analyst is a professional who is trained to provide behavior analytic services and has been certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

Requirements include:

  • Graduate degree (i.e., Masters or Doctorate Degree in a related field)
  • Coursework covering specific content in behavior analysis
  • Supervised practical experience
  • BCBA examination

Once certified, these professionals are required to earn approved continuing education credits to maintain certification. For more information please visit the website of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board at


In addition to this national board certification, some states offer licensure of behavior analysts. License laws vary from state to state. Connecticut requires behavior analysts to obtain a license to practice. For information on licensure in CT, please visit–Investigations/Behavioral-- Analyst/Licensing-Requirements