ABA Glossary: What Do These Acronyms Mean?

by | Feb 5, 2021 | ABA Therapy

Most of the time when reading about ABA therapy, you’ll come across terms that you don’t know. If you’re a new behavior analyst or parent of a child with ASD, it’s important to know these terms for future reference. 

How many of these ABA glossary terms do you know? #StepstoProgress #abaglossary #aba Click To Tweet

What do these ABA terms mean?

These ABA therapist terms can be found throughout our blog:

  1. ABA
  2. ABC’s of Behavior
  3. ASD
  4. BCBA
  5. DSM
  6. IDEA
  7. IFSP

1) ABA

Applied behavior analysis is a type of therapy that focuses on improving specific behaviors, such as social skills, communication, reading, and academics. ABA therapy also applies adaptive learning skills, such as fine motor dexterity, hygiene, grooming, domestic capabilities, punctuality, and job competence. 

2) ABC’s of Behavior

ABC data is a way for BCBA’s to observe and respond to the behavior of a child. The ABC’s of behavior refers to:

  • Antecedent- the events, actions, or circumstances that occur before a behavior.
  • Behavior- The behavior that occurs.
  • Consequences- The action or response that follows the behavior.

3) ASD

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. As it is based on a spectrum, no two cases are completely alike. Everyone with ASD is different from one another, making one on one services a priority at Steps to Progress.


A Board Certified Behavior Analyst is a person with a certification in applied behavior analysis. BCBAs receive this certification through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) uses scientific and systematic processes to help influence an individual’s behavior.

5) DSM

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a book published by the American Psychiatric Association used by professionals to diagnose and treat mental disorders. 


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a piece of American legislation that ensures students with a disability are provided with Free Appropriate Public Education that is tailored to their individual needs. 


An individual family services plan is a plan that guides and supports your efforts to boost your child’s development up to age 3. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a plan for special education for children ages 3 to 21.

ABA Glossary Terms to Know

Now that you know some of the ABA glossary, it’s time for the next steps. Contact our team for an individualized treatment plan for your child today.

Connect with us to learn more about ABA glossary terms. 

Related Posts

Ready to Get Started?

Give your child the skills needed to succeed with personalized ABA therapy.

Get Started