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What Is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)? ABA is a scientifically proven therapy that focuses on understanding human behavior and using that knowledge to bring about meaningful changes. It's like unlocking the secrets of behavior to help individuals reach their full potential!


Why is ABA so helpful? Well, it's all about promoting positive behaviors while reducing challenging ones. This is done by breaking down complex skills into smaller, manageable steps. ABA helps individuals build crucial life skills like social skills, language and communication, following directions, self-care, adaptive skills, attending, motor skills, and self-regulation.


Not only does ABA benefit individuals with developmental challenges, such as autism spectrum disorder, but it also supports personal growth and behavior modification in various contexts. Whether it's at home, in the classroom, or engaging with others in the community, ABA provides practical strategies for individuals to overcome challenges and achieve meaningful progress.


Ultimately, ABA aims to promote overall independence, empowering individuals to function autonomously and achieve their fullest potential in various aspects of life.


At Marcfirst, we believe in the transformative power of ABA and its ability to create lasting change.


If you're looking to unlock a loved one's true potential or seeking effective behavior solutions, reach out to us! Our dedicated team of experienced professionals are here to support you every step of the way. 


Teaching to Request


  • Reduce a problem behavior by teaching the student a replacement, and more appropriate, way of getting their needs met
  • Build communication skills


  • Teach the student exactly what to say to request their needs appropriately
  • This could be one-word requests ("cookie"), a multi-word request ("I want cookie"), or picture exchange (PECS)
  • Withhold the desired item/attention until there is a correct response
  • Repeat cycle for increased effectiveness


  • Use this strategy any time the student is motivated to request something: a toy, food, attention, help with a task, etc.
  • This motivation may look like the student reaching towards something they want or engaging in problematic behaviors


  • Remember to require the student to use appropriate requests across all people and settings


About the author: Ashley Starr has been in the Marcfirst Pediatric ABA department for almost 3 years. She recently finished her master's program and plans to sit for the BCBA exam in the near future.


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