ABA and VB

The acronym ABA signifies “Applied Behaviour Analysis”.  ABA is a science whose procedures derived from behavioural principles are systematically applied to improve socially significant behaviours and who experimentally demonstrate how these procedures are responsible for improving behaviour. (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2008).

The works of B.F. Skinner, one of the most well-known behaviourists of the 20th century, are the origin of ABA.

Applied Behaviour Analysis targets:

  • Increase socially significant adaptive behaviours
  • Develop emerging skills
  • Decrease socially significant inappropriate behaviours (notably disruptive behaviours that hinder the child’s learning (independence, autonomy, etc…).


  • Dividing complex tasks into several small and easy steps that allow for personalized and intensive teaching.
  • Identifying individualized and appropriate rewards (reinforcers) in order to create an enjoyable teaching environment and motivate the child to learn.
  • Providing sufficient help so that the child is successful when accomplishing a difficult task without error.
  • Providing repetition and frequent teaching opportunities in order to facilitate the acquisition of skills.
  • Insuring effective learning by systematic recording and measurements of progress / difficulties via data collection.
  • Ensuring parental involvement to generalize skills outside of the intensive learning environment so that they have a positive impact for both the child and the family.

The supervision of the practice of ABA is regulated by two levels of behaviour analysts:

–          BCBA supervisors (Board Certified Behaviour Analysts), master’s level with a total required theoretical and practical experience in ABA of 1500 hours of which 5% of the total hours are supervised as well as the completion of a certification exam.

–          BCaBA supervisors (Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analysts), bachelor’s level with a practical and theoretical experience in ABA of 750 hours of which 5% of the total hours are supervised as well as the completion of a certification exam.

Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2008). Applied Behaviour Analysis (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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