Frequently Asked Questions

What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the science of behavior. ABA systematically examines the relationship between learners and the variables in their environment to make positive and socially significant changes in their lives. Each learner’s motivation and the principles of ABA are arranged with environmental variables in a precise manner to maximize learning. ABA services begin by analyzing variables in the environment to understand the function of a specific behavior, why is this behavior occurring. Once the function of the behavior is identified, support staff and caregivers are trained by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) to implement an evidence-based behavior plan and programming to teach and reinforce new appropriate replacement behaviors and skills. The programming is flexible and modified to the learner’s behavior and performance. (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). ABA was endorsed by US Surgeon General in 1999 and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as an effective treatment for autism. The full US Surgeon General Report can be found at the following link:

Are Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services an Evidence-Based Practice?

Yes, ABA services are driven by decades of research. The technology implemented in each individualized behavior plan is a replication of peer-reviewed, research-derived interventions demonstrated by data! The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) was first published in 1968 as a method to disseminate behavior analytical research among our field. The number of peer-reviewed journals in our field has grown since. As prevalence of individuals with an Autism Spectrum diagnosis continues to rise so are the choices of treatment options. Not all treatment options available are evidence-based practices, and caregivers and educators must take this into consideration when seeking autism services. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) are committed to implementing evidence- based practices to make a positive impact. Navigate Behaviors has a strong commitment to implementing technology that is evidence-based.

Who can benefit from Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

All individuals and organizations can benefit from ABA services. Navigate Behaviors specializes in only a small portion of the science, but research has shown its effectiveness all the way from autism services, individuals with developmental disabilities, environmental issues, business organizations to geriatrics. Many people are aware of the effectiveness of early intensive behavior intervention (eibi) with young children with Autism, but ABA can be applied across age groups and populations. The context of treatment is unique to each learner with his or her respected age and setting.

What is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)?

Credentialing for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) began in 2000 through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). A BCBA has completed at least graduate level behavior analytic coursework requirements from an accredited university program and completed fieldwork supervision, university teaching, and/or practicum opportunities with a qualified supervisor. After completing the course and field requirements, a candidate must pass the BACB Board exam before becoming certified. Ongoing continuing education requirements must be fulfilled to maintain board certification.

What are the Local and National Resources?

Rhode Island: 1. The Autism Project 2. Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment (RI CART) 3. Rhode Island Department of Health – Behavior Analysis 4. The Sensational Child National: 1. Association for Behavior Analysis International 2. Autism Society 3. Autism Speaks 4. Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) 5. The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder – Evidence-Based Practice