What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

ABA is a therapy based on principles to produce positive changes in behavior. This type of therapy is utilizing various approaches that are client orientated to advance behavior in social interactions, maintain positive behaviors, and gain new skills. ABA looks at understanding the “how” and “why” of behavior and is individualized for each client. Below is a video for readers that might want a more in-depth overview!

What is the clientele for this form of therapy?

When thinking about who would benefit from this form of therapy, there have been many studies that show children with Autism improve their ability to develop and be the best they can be with ABA! This form of therapy is never used with the intent of “fixing” a child with Autism, but rather aid them in ways that can improve their overall quality of life. Understanding that Autism is a developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact, with ABA, children with Autism work on areas of social skills, concentration, interactions, independence, challenging behavior, communication, and gross and fine motor skills to improve their abilities to communicate and interact.

Hearing from a Different Perspective! Testimony from Dante Fields.

Q: Can you tell me about your job

A: Hello, I am a Senior Registered Behavioral Technician (Sr. RBT) and a Supervisee at ABC Therapy Clinics in Plainfield/ Yorkville. I currently am a team lead for two cases and work under many caseloads under the
guidance and supervision of a Board-Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA). I have been working at ABC for about a year and a half, however, I have been in the field of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) for a little over two years. My overall duties as a Sr. RBT include running 1 on 1 session with clients and implementing skill targets and behavior intervention strategies that have been selected,
tested, and created by the case BCBA. However, being a Sr. RBT and a supervisee, my job roles also include training new behavioral technicians with hands-on experience with clients, teaching technical language and skills of ABA, updating client’s skill targets in the back end of our data collection system, comparing, and analyzing client behavioral and skill data, running behavioral and skill assessments and updating and creating client treatment plans and behavioral intervention plans under the guidance of my supervising BCBA.

Q: ABA’s importance

A: The importance of Applied Behavioral Analysis starts off with its ability to use simple behavioral principles to increase or decrease a socially significant behavior based on the individual’s society and cultural background to allow them to communicate and interact with their peers on their own. ABA is great with early intervention and starting with clients young, even at the ages of two or three years
old. It helps create a solid foundation for clients to allow them to interact with their age-like peers.

Q: what makes you want to work towards being a BCBA

A: I want to become a BCBA because 1: I love working with the clients I work with, and I genuinely enjoy the field that I am in. Also, I enjoy the objectivity, conciseness, and data-driven aspect of ABA. I also have great BCBAs in my company to look up to and I want to be able to have the same impact they have, if not more in my own way.

Q: How do you tailor your therapy strategies based on your client’s needs?

A: ABA is all data-driven based on things we can observe, and objectively define. With this said, our therapy strategies, while unique to each client and each case, are a miniature single-subject design experiment, how we pick the interventions we use is based on peer-reviewed research and selected by the BCBA of the case. Their choice is dependent on different assessments used during intake and prior usage of different interventions for that said client.

Q: What impacts you think you have made?

A: Over my time spent as an employee of ABC, I felt that I have learned as much from the kiddos I have worked with if not more, than what I have had the pleasure of assisting and teaching them. I have worked with multiple age groups of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in a clinical setting such as ABC. With all the different clients I have worked with, from toddlers to even adults, I feel that I have made an impact in some way on all of them. I will say for sure; I have had some impacts more than others. I hope that I have the impact of someone who has given them something positive to be remembered by, whether it is being the funny and fun therapist that lets them climb all over them or the teacher that got them to say their first sounds and words, or even to be looked at as a role model.

Additional Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, December 9). What is autism spectrum disorder?. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How To ABA. (2023, June 22). Episode 104: What is Aba?. How to ABA.

McPhilemy, C., & Dillenburger, K. (2013, December 17). Parents’ experiences of applied behaviour analysis (ABA)-based interventions for children diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder. Nasen Helping Everyone Achieve.

Teachings In Education. (2019, August 1). Applied Behavior Analysis: ABA. YouTube.