Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Overview of Behavior Analysis

"What is it?"

Autism Speaks and Cooper, Heron, and Heward (2007) define applied behavior analysis (ABA) as follows:

Behavior analysis focuses on the principles that explain how learning takes place. Positive reinforcement is one such principle. When a behavior is followed by some sort of reward, the behavior is more likely to be repeated...applied behavior analysis is the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior.

Behavior is simply anything a person does that can be observed. So, "behavior" does not only refer to unwanted/inappropriate behaviors.

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 "Who is it for?"

ABA is for anyone that could benefit from behavior change procedures to increase appropriate behaviors, develop new skills, and/or decrease inappropriate behaviors. 

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"What if my child doesn’t have autism?"

That’s ok! ABA is used around the world, with a variety of people, for a wide range of behaviors. For more information on myths and misconceptions about ABA, visit


Autism Speaks. Website:
Behavior Babe. Website:
Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Website:
Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson; 2007.


Sarah Kern, M.S., BCBA, LBA
Phone: 314-467-5353
Address: 3155 Koch Road
              St. Louis, MO 63125
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