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Let Meem Explain: The ABC's of ABA

If you’re just beginning your ABA journey, it can be kind of confusing. Here, at Meem Behavior, we know exactly how that feels. This is the start of our ABA Basics series, and hopefully you find the answers you need! Today, we’re going to be covering a term you might be familiar with – the ABCs of ABA. Namely: Antecedent, Behavioral, and Consequence, and how that information is used in Applied Behavioral Analysis.

Wait, what’s ABA?

So, what exactly is ABA therapy? We talk about this more here, but here’s a quick run down. Basically, applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a discipline that uses scientific methods from the field of behavior analysis to understand, predict, and produce meaningful changes in individuals’ behavior. This is a treatment course often recommended to children diagnosed with autism and has shown to be beneficial.

The ABCs

Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequences (ABC) is an important part of an ABA program. Essentially, the ABCs help guide behavioral analysts understand and, eventually, shape behavior. Antecedent is what comes before the behavior, whereas consequences are what happen after the behavior.

Here's an Example:

By tracking the antecedent and consequences of a specific behavior, we now have the context to manipulate and, eventually, change behavior. That is how the ABCs tie into ABA! Behavioral analysts help track behavior and manipulate both antecedents and consequences in order to impact behavior. Imagine if Johnny’s mom reminded him five minutes before bed time that he should start to get ready? Might that impact how Johnny reacts? These are the kinds of questions analysts ask and implement into their plans. Soon, you might find that Johnny doesn’t mind bedtime so much anymore.

Wrapping it Up

So, next time the kid in your life exhibits less than desirable behavior, just take a moment to piece together the ABCs. What prompted the behavior and what were the consequences? Bonus points if you can nail down why, exactly, the child in your life turns to that behavior. Let us know if you have any questions and visit our services page to learn more about what Meem behavior has to offer you!

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