Four reasons why I love ABA

Why do I love Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)? Here are my top 4 reasons!

  1. It’s personalized

One of the first things a Behavior Technician does when working with a learner using the ABA method, is pairing. You build rapport with the learner, so you look at all the things the learner likes. You can’t build rapport if you just decide you’re going to play with dolls, because ‘all girls like dolls,’ right?  Once you know what the learner likes, you make sure the learner gets access to the ‘likes’ only through you. That is how you start pairing, so the learner will come to love it when you arrive for your ABA session.

Not only is the pairing process personal, but the ABA treatment plan is also fully individualized. For example, Rachid needs to work on asking instead of grabbing and Ella needs to work on her social skills with her classmates. Every learner gets a plan that is exclusively designed for him or her. I love this, because it makes me look at the learner and his/her needs instead of his/her disability and limitations. 

  1. Focus on the positive 

Let’s say, your child is grabbing your hair when it’s time to brush teeth. That may be upsetting, saddening and perhaps painful. There are a couple of things you can do:

  1. Put your own hair up in a bun
  2. Raise your voice, tell him/her no and take away the preferred items
  3. Look for a replacement behavior, like a stress ball to give while brushing teeth; break brushing teeth in steps and reinforce; use a sensory brush; count down. There is more and more.

The first and last option are the best option in my opinion. That is another thing I love about ABA. There are so many options to teach a new behavior and the approach is always positive! 

  1. Creative

Another reason I love ABA, is how creativity is used. As a Behavior Technician, we must use our creativity. You have to create situations to let the learner practise the skills she/he needs to learn. For example, a learner with severe autism will not sit still on a chair for an hour practising new skills. So, we come up with solutions to use the playground if the learner likes that, use the gym if that is available, music instruments, water, etc.

  1. Analytical

While I just started to learn about ABA, one of the most fascinating things I came to learn was analysing the function of the behavior. Before that, if a leaner would bite, I would think “This is naughty.” Through ABA, I learned why this learner would do this. Like, what was the build-up, and how the consequences that were provided kept the behavior in place. 

In ABA, the Behavior Analyst will analyse the behaviors for a function, so an individualized treatmentplan can be made. There are four functions for behavior (the SEAT!)


For every function, there is a different way to cope with that. For example: A learner keeps yelling for Legos and the parent gives access to this. The function is access to tangible. If the learner can ask for candy using a calm voice, the parent can give access to Legos.