What is ABA?

What You Need to Know About Applied Behavior Analysis

Behavior analysis is the scientific study of behavior. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the application of this science to solve practical problems, specifically problems of social significance. ABA therapy is a scientifically validated treatment for individuals with autism and neurodevelopmental disorders.

ABA Services of Colorado


Over decades and evaluated by an independent body of experts, the 2000 Report of the MADSEC Autism Task Force documented the effectiveness of applied behavior analysis for:

  • A wide range of populations, including children with autism and neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Settings, including schools, homes, and clinics; and
  • Behavior reduction, such as aggression, self-injury, elopement, and tantrum behavior
  • Skill acquisition, including communication and language skills, play skills, social skills, academics, and daily living skills.

Social significance

In applied behavior analysis, we discuss social significance. This means we change specific behaviors, to a meaningful degree, for the client and the family. Examples include daily living skills, academics, communication, social skills, and the reduction of problematic and dangerous behaviors.

Data collection

To ensure the ABA therapy is bringing about change, we write specific, objective goals and collect data during each therapy session. Our team reviews data and evaluates trends weekly. We teach skills to mastery and then monitor for maintenance and generalization to confirm that your child’s new skills are used consistently.


Family education is integral to your child’s ABA therapy; you spend time with your child more than anyone else does. A senior team member will aid you in learning about and implementing a variety of topics, including behavior-reduction plans, daily living skills, and adaptive behaviors. As part of your own training, you may be responsible for collecting data. Implementing the programs that are assigned to you gives your child the greatest opportunity for success outside therapy sessions.