The science of Applied Behavior Analysis utilizes its own language often referred to as “Behavior Speak.” Many times, you will hear professionals in the field of Autism and ABA reference these terms and will wonder what they are saying and what does it mean. ABLG has provided you with a simple Glossary of Terms to help you understand what these ABA terms mean. If you would like more information on this or have questions regarding ABA and how ABLG can help you, please visit us at www.ABLG.org
Glossary of Terms
Part I – ABA For Beginners
1:1 – is a term used to indicate 1 therapist working with 1 child
ABA – stands for Applied Behavior Analysis: the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors to a meaningful degree, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement in behavior. (http://eden2.org/what-is-applied-behavior-analysis/)
ABA Therapist – An ABA therapist is a person who uses applied behavior analysis as a form of treatment. ABA Therapists are also often referred to as: Behavior Therapist, Behavior Technician or Para-Professional. The ABA Therapist is generally the individual who is implementing behavior analytic interventions (under the supervision of a BCBA). A certification to provide ABA in most states is not required. However, in 2015 the BACB created a certification for ABA Therapists known as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT®).
Autism – a developmental disorder that appears by age three and that is variable in expression but is recognized and diagnosed by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate with others, and by stereotyped behavior patterns especially as exhibited by a preoccupation with repetitive activities of restricted focus rather than with flexible and imaginative ones (http://teaching.monster.com/benefits/articles/1861-autism)
Autism Spectrum Disorder – any of a group of developmental disorders (such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome) marked by impairments in the ability to communicate and interact socially and by the presence of repetitive behaviors or restricted interests —called also pervasive developmental disorder (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autism%20spectrum%20disorder)
BACB – The Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. (BACB®) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1998 to meet professional credentialing needs identified by behavior analysts, governments, and consumers of behavior analysis services. The BACB’s certification requirements, exam content, and procedures undergo regular review according to international standards for organizations that grant professional credentials. All BACB requirements and exam content are established by content experts in the discipline. (https://bacb.com/)
Baseline data – Baseline data is a measurement of the behavior taken before interventions are started. Baseline data is important because it allows the team to compare the behavior before and after implementation of the behavior plan to determine if the interventions are working. (http://ppsfba.weebly.com/measuring-behaviorsbaseline-data.html)
BCBA-D – The BACB offers a doctoral designation for Board Certified Behavior Analysts with doctoral training in behavior analysis — Board Certified Behavior Analyst-DoctoralTM (BCBA-DTM). It is not a separate credential and it does not grant any special privileges above or beyond the BCBA credential. Professionals who are credentialed at the BCBA-D level function in the same capacity as a BCBA (i.e., they are independent practitioners who provide behavior-analytic services). BCBA-Ds supervise the work of Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts, Registered Behavior Technicians, and others who provide behavior-analytic interventions. BCBA-Ds must abide by the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. (https://bacb.com/bcba-d/)
BCaBA– The Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® (BCaBA®) is an undergraduate-level certification in behavior analysis. Professionals who are certified at the BCaBA level may not practice independently, but must be supervised by someone certified at the BCBA/BCBA-D level. BCaBAs must have coursework in ethics and professional conduct as part of the eligibility requirements for the credential. In addition, each BCaBA must abide by the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. (https://bacb.com/bcaba/)
BCBA – The Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) is a graduate-level certification in behavior analysis. Professionals who are certified at the BCBA level are independent practitioners who provide behavior-analytic services. In addition, BCBAs supervise the work of Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts, Registered Behavior Technicians, and others who implement behavior-analytic interventions. BCBAs must abide by the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. Health insurance companies who cover ABA Therapy require that the therapy program be created and supervised by a BCBA. (https://bacb.com/bcba/)
Behaviorspeak– A Glossary of Terms in Applied Behavior Analysis by Newman,B., Reeve, K., Reeve,S. (2003)
Data Collection – Often depicted in the form of graphs, data collection is used to measure a learner’s progress within an ABA program. Instructors use data to make decisions about how effective teaching procedures are for new skills, as well as any behavior reduction goals. Data driven decision making is a key component to ABA.
Discrete Trial – is a method of teaching in simplified and structured steps. Instead of teaching an entire skill in one go, the skill is broken down and “built-up” using discrete trials that teach each step one at a time. (http://www.educateautism.com/applied-behaviour-analysis/discrete-trial-training.html)
EI – stands for Early Intervention. Early Intervention services are a range of targeted services to help young children who have developmental delays or specific health conditions. Different types of specialists work with these kids. Early intervention is for children from birth to age 3. To be eligible, your child must either have a developmental delay far behind other kids his age, or a specific health condition that will probably lead to a delay. This includes genetic disorders, birth defects and hearing loss. (https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/early-intervention/early-intervention-what-it-is-and-how-it-works)
EIP– stands for Early Intervention Provider (see E.I. for definition of service)
FBA – Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) is a variation on procedures originally developed to ascertain the purpose or reason for behaviors displayed by individuals with severe cognitive or communication disabilities. An FBA is generally considered to be a problem-solving process for addressing student problem behavior. It relies on a variety of techniques and strategies to identify the purposes of specific behavior and to help IEP teams select interventions to directly address the problem behavior. (http://www.behavioradvisor.com/FBA.html, http://behrendtcm.weebly.com/behavior-plans–fba.html)
Generalization – when a learner demonstrates a skill with new materials, settings, or people without being taught under those conditions.
I.E.P. – stands for Individualized Education Plan: a written statement of the educational program designed to meet a child’s individual needs. Every child who receives special education services must have an IEP. (http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/iep-overview/)
Inclusion Classroom – Inclusion classrooms secure opportunities for students with disabilities to learn alongside their non-disabled peers in general education classrooms. (http://www.specialeducationguide.com/pre-k-12/inclusion/)
Lead Therapist – The term used to describe the instructor who oversees the implementation of behavioral interventions and supervises the ABA Therapists. Often times, the Lead Therapist provides direct therapy to the learner and in addition assumes the role of case manager, providing supervision and instruction to additional team members. This person is often referred to as the Program Coordinator.
Pairing – is more technically referred to as “Stimulus-stimulus pairing”. It is the process by which a formerly neutral stimulus, such as a new therapist or new food, acquires reinforcing properties. “Pairing” occurs when the neutral stimulus is presented simultaneously with previously established reinforcers. This process allows instructors to develop rapport with new learners and be able to place demands.
PDD (or PDD-NOS) – Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified is the category is used to refer to children who have significant problems with communication and play, and some difficulty interacting with others, but are too social to be considered autistic. It’s sometimes referred to as a milder form of autism. (http://www.medicinenet.com/pervasive_development_disorders/article.htm)
Program Coordinator – The term used to describe the instructor who oversees the implementation of behavioral interventions and supervises the ABA Therapists. Often referred to as the Lead Therapist. This individual assumes the role of case manager, providing supervision and instruction to additional team members. In some cases, the Program Coordinator also provides direct service.
Reinforcer – Tangible and intangible objects or actions that are used to increase the occurrence of a certain behavior (https://www.special-learning.com/article/increasing_behavior_reinforcers)
RBT – The Registered Behavior TechnicianTM (RBT®) is a paraprofessional who practices under the close, ongoing supervision of a BCBA, BCaBA, or FL-CBA. The RBT is primarily responsible for the direct implementation of behavior-analytic services. The RBT does not design intervention or assessment plans. RBTs must have instruction and assessment in ethics and professional conduct as part of the eligibility requirements for the credential. In addition, each RBT must abide by a subset of the Compliance Code designated as relevant to the practice of behavior technicians. (https://bacb.com/rbt/)
Shadow – a therapist/aide who is trained in the basic principles of applied behavior analysis who accompanies the student in an inclusive setting and supports the student in that environment. (http://www.shapeofbehavior.com/blog/what-is-an-autism-aide-shadow.html)
Sensory Friendly – an environment which has been modified to contain a manageable degree of sensory stimuli, which will make the individual calmer, better able to process the sensory stimulation they receive, and better able to relate to others.
Sensory Processing Disorder – Sensory processing disorder (formerly referred to as Sensory Integration Disorder) is a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses.
Session Notes – serve as case notes for each client session.
SEVI – a Service Encounter Verification Invoice (SEVI) is used to record date, time and location of service. The signature of a Parent, Legal Guardian (over the age of 18), Teacher or designated responsible care-giver is required to be collected on each date of service.
Skill Acquisition Programs (SAP) – also referred to as ABA Programs, these programs are designed to help a learner acquire new skills.