What is Applied Behaviour Analysis? Types and Techniques

Applied behaviour analysis (ABA) is a therapeutic technique to resolve many communication, social, and learning issues of children. Researchers in this study investigate different behaviours of students and analyse those odd behaviours for treatment purposes. The causes of those behaviours vary, but the top reason is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Anyways, today’s article is not about the cause. It is about the solution, and the solution lies in the ABA. In today’s article, I will talk about different types of this therapeutic method. Along with the types, there will also be a mention of the techniques that practitioners use to treat behaviour problems. Before discussing these things, let’s learn the definition of this analysis first.

What Does It Mean By Applied Behaviour Analysis?

The word “behaviour analysis” says it all. In its literary meaning, it means the analysis of the behaviour of someone for treatment purposes. But the proper definition of applied behaviour analysis is not this. ABA therapy is a form of treatment to eliminate the issues like communication, social skills, and behavioural disorders. The American Psychology Association (APA) classifies this treatment method as an evidence-based practice. It means that this treatment is backed by peer-reviewed literature. This therapy is mostly for students or children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

What Are The Different Types Of ABA?

From the discussion above, you know what it means to use applied behaviour analysis. It is time to discuss different types of this useful behavioural analysis. Although there are many types of this analysis, a description of a few important ones is as follows as shared by top researchers of The Academic Papers UK:

Discrete Trial Training (DTT)

It is the first type of ABA therapy. DTT involves breaking down a skill into steps and then teaching it to children with behavioural disorders. The major three steps of this process are as follows:

  • The antecedent (a cue that triggers the behavioural disorder in children)
  • The behaviour (the therapeutic response to that cue)
  • The conclusion (what happened after the application of therapy)

Hence, these are the steps that therapists usually follow to produce a particular behaviour in individuals. When the behaviour is fully produced, the individual will feel positive reinforcement.

Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI)

EIBI is the second type of ABA and is used mostly in young children. It helps in teaching social, communication, adaptive, and fundamental skills to those children. Usually, this type of ABA is highly individualized, intensive and comprehensive. It takes a lot of time to complete. The therapists treat such children for multiple years at an intensity of 20 to 40 hours per week. This type of treatment is one of the most established for ASD.

Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)

As the name suggests, it is an early start therapeutic process. It is usually used for children between the ages of 12 to 48 months. The therapists use some kind of play activities to foster cognitive, social, and language skills. This type of ABA can be given to children at homes, community centres, or educational institutes. It is an established type of ABA to combat ASD. It decreases the symptoms of autism which affects children’s ability to learn badly.

Focused ABA Therapy

Focused on one point, this type of ABA is used to help individuals who are facing a particular issue and need personalised treatment. The focus of this type can be on the development of specific skills in an individual. Such an individual works face-to-face with a therapist. But this is not always the case. Both therapist and individual often practice skills in small groups or community settings to measure the conclusion step.

Comprehensive ABA Therapy

This type of applied behaviour analysis lasts for several hours in a day. The therapist works with the individual several hours a week in different settings. Sometimes, the location of the therapeutic process will be home and sometimes an outdoor point. Usually, the behaviour technician works directly with the individual. But it is not mandatory. He can also engage parents and other caregivers in the process.

Techniques Used In ABA

You have learned about the type of applied behaviour analysis treatment. But you do not know the overall technique that the therapists use to treat such children. Hence, a brief description of the technique is as follows:


It is the first step behind every successful applied behaviour analysis. The children or the individual with ASD meets with the therapist or vice versa. The therapist assesses the individual by using different strategies and analyses his behaviour. He may do this by asking different questions about strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, needs and goals. The answers to all these questions allow the therapist to assess the patient. Hence, the first step in the ABA technique is assessment, which is also the most important.


After learning the first step, the second step is obvious. Of course, it is the treatment of the patient to resolve the ASD. To do this, the therapist may use any of the ABA treatment types depending on the condition you are in. The treatment hours can be different for different types of treatment. As a general idea, behavioural treatments last several hours a day. There are different playing activities and skill-learning activities in the treatment. Hence, it is the second technique for treating ASD.

Caregiver Training

The third technique involved in applied behaviour analysis is caregiver training. Using this technique, the therapist provides his support and offers training to the family members and caregivers of the patient. He teaches skills and strategies to keep the treatment going when he is not around or the treatment session is over.

The Bottom Line

Conclusively, children with ASD and other behavioural disorders need specialised attention and treatment. Luckily, applied behaviour analysis therapy is available to students. Using ABA, the therapist cures children with autism disorder. The techniques that he uses are also mentioned above. So, read and learn how this effective therapy works.

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