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To help individuals achieve meaningful outcomes by using methods and procedures that are validated by ABA researchers

Main goal of ABA practice


Direct observation, measurement, graphing/charting and manipulation of antecedents and consequences

Tasks performed by ABA practitioners


The application of the principles of operant and respondent learning derived from the experimental analysis of behavior and the application of methods and procedures validated by ABA researchers to assess and improve socially important human behaviors

ABA Practice


Life changes that represent a person’s aspirations, dreams, and broad preferences



Statements that clearly define broad goals relating to areas such as choice, access to reinforcers,avoidance of aversive stimuli, health and safety, and interpersonal relationships

Outcome statements


Behavior and behavior change

Leads to outcomes


Skills or abilities that enable the individual to meet standards of personal independence and responsibility that would be expected of his or her age and social group

Adaptive behavior


Any defined, observable, and measurable behavior that is the focus of assessment, analysis, and intervention

Target behavior


Skill deficits, problems with strength of behavior, problems with performance, problems with stimulus control, problems with generality, behavior excesses

Types of problems with behavior


Can't Do at all; or does, but not independently

Skill deficit


Does, but not well enough(lacks mastery), does well enough but lacks fluency, does well enough but not frequently enough

Problems with strength of behavior


Won’t do

Performance problem


Does the behavior at the wrong time or in the wrong place

Problems with stimulus control


Does the behavior, but only under limited circumstances

Problems with generality


Does the behavior too much

Behavior excess


Helps individual achieve outcomes, behavior deficit makes the person too dependent on others, behavior is harmful, dangerous or illegal, behavior is controlled by meds or restraints, behavior excludes individual from social situations, behavior interferes with independent functioning

Reasons for selecting target behavior


Pass the Dead Person's test: a behavior NOT a label; countable; more specific is usually better; choose one that will have the greatest impact; if targeting a behavior to decelerate you must choose at least one replacement behavior for increase

General guidelines for selecting target behavior


The treatment goals and the achieved outcomes are acceptable, socially relevant, and useful to the individual receiving services and to those who care about the individual

Social validity


The practitioner gathers basic information about the case, determines if behavioral services are appropriate, and if he/she is the appropriate provider of those services

Preliminary assessment


Determine who has the authority to give consent for services; Determine whether or not you have the permission, skills, time, and resources to begin assessment; Complete intake paperwork or the equivalent (may be done by cleric); Review records and available data; Meet client and begin observations; Document

Steps of preliminary assessment