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ABA programming relies on individual assessment to guide treatment. Assessments obtain both strengths and weaknesses. Below you will find a list and brief description of assessment tools commonly used in the behavior analytic community.

  • A-B-C Data: ABC data consists of charts and checklists obtained in direct observations of an individual. A = antecedent (events preceding a behavior), B = Behavior, C = Consequence (what occurs after the behavior). ABC data is collected until an identifiable pattern is observed with the target behavior in question; 10-12 separate instance

  • ABLLS (Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills): ABLLS is not only an assessment tool, but a curriculum guide and a skills tracking system. ABLLS is used to guide language instruction and critical skills for learners with a variety of cognitive and/or developmental delays. This is a parent-friendly tool able to facilitate and identify the skills for your child to effectively communicate and learn.

  • VB-MAPP (Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program): The VB-MAPP has five components that are measurable and developmentally balanced: baseline level of performance, directions of intervention, tracking system for skills acquisition, outcome measuring tools,, and curriculum planning.

  • Functional Assessment Tools: Multiple variations of screening tools designed to identify a number of factors that may influence the occurrence of problem behaviors. These are used as initial screening tools and then encompassed in a comprehensive functional assessment. These screening tools are given to each individual who interacts with the individual frequently.

  • Early Intensive Behavior Intervention: EIBI uses the methods of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to help your child learn age- and developmentally-appropriate language and learning skills. Instruction is individualized in one-one-one or small group settings in clinical settings, in homes, comunity, or educational settings. EIBI is an approach for the youngest learners.

  • Functional Communication Training: FCT involves teaching the most meaningful vocabulary in the most naturalistic way. It is important to note that functional communication training does not mean that your child is talking. Rather, any kind of communication may be acceptable. Common interventions in functional communication training can include the use of picture exchanges, icon exchanges, gestures, and sign language. FCT is used to teach and establish replacement behaviors for inappropriate or harmful behaviors such as aggression, escape/elopement, non-compliance, etc. When a child is regularly engaging in disruptive, challenging behaviors, that is a form of communication. Even for a verbal child, behavior is a way of communicating wants and needs.

  • Discrete Trial Teaching: The purpose of Discrete Trial Teaching is increased opportunities for repeated instruction, modeling, feedback, and reinforcement. The goal of DTT is to generalize the skill in a.natural environment. Instruction often starts at the table, using scientific principles of learning and motivation for effective teaching.

  • Active Student Responding: This teaching technique increases participation and decreases disruption. This is key in classroom type settings and group teaching. Benefits of ASR include informal assessment of student skills, increased opportunity to respond, ease of implementation, and a fun atmosphere.

  • Activity Schedules: Visual or textual prompts that promote engagement or independent leisure skills and increase appropriate toy play. This is individually developed based on needs and skill level.

  • Behavior Contracts: Typically for increased cognitive and skill level, this is a plan of action negotiated between an individual and a parent, teacher, therapist, etc. The contract objectively specifies what is expected and consequences.

  • Modeling: Adults or peers provide a demonstration of the target behavior; the student is expected to imitate. Imitation skills are a necessary prerequisite to this type of intervention. Modeling is often combined with prompting and reinforcement strategies which can assist the student to acquire imitation skills.

  • Naturalistic Teaching Strategies: This strategy uses child-initiated interactions to teach functional skills in the natural environment. This intervention requires providing a stimulating environment, modeling play, providing choices, encouraging conversation, and rewarding reasonable attempts.

  • Joint Attention Intervention: Program designed to teach a child to respond to the social bids of another, or to initiate joint attention interactions. Examples include : pointing to objects, showing items, activities to another, and following eye gaze.

  • Pivotal Response Training: Program designed to target specific, "pivotal" behaviors that lead to improvement across a broad range of behaviors including: motivation to engage in social communication, self-initiation, self-management, responsiveness to multiple cues, etc. The goal is that by targeting these critical areas, PRT will produce broad improvements across other areas of sociability, communication, behavior, and academic skill building. PRT is play-based and child-initiated.

  • Behavioral Treatment: Programs are designed to decrease problem behaviors and increase functional alternative behaviors. Examples include: functional communication training, chaining, discrete trial training, mand (requesting items) training, generalization training, reinforcement, shaping, etc.

  • Antecedent Modification: This is the modification of situational events that precede the target behavior. This modification is designed to increase the likelihood of success of the targeted behavior. Examples include: prompt/fading procedures, behavioral momentum, contrived motivational operations, inter-trial intervals, incorporation special interests, etc.


Parents and care givers are critical in their child's program! Training for parents and care givers on strategies and techniques of ABA will assist them in their child's daily activities, increase prompting opportunities, and promote their child's learning and generalizing.


LINKS ABA Therapy is passionate and interested in teaching individuals with different abilities the necessary skills for improving their quality of life as well as their family. We accomplish this by providing the scientific principles of learning and motivation to teach effectively using ABA. We develop a treatment approach for each individual with the ultimate goal of them gaining independence, appropriate social skills, building relationships, and developing other functional life skills all within a family-centered model.

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