Welcome to Behaviorbabe

Ethical Advocate for Accurate Application & Dissemination of Behavior Analysis

Caregiver's Corner

So, you have a little (or not so little) one that has been diagnosed with autism or a related disorder.  You may have heard "ABA can help" or "look into this thing called applied behavior analysis".  Overwhelmed with where to start? I'm here to help.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is an effective methodology for reducing undesired behaviors and increasing appropriate replacement behaviors for anyone in need!

First Signs

First Signs is dedicated to educating parents and professionals about autism and related disorders.


With developmental, behavioral, and learning disabilities on the rise, there is much that remains poorly understood, from cause to cure. However, there is one widely-accepted fact: early and intensive intervention can have a profound impact on the quality of life for children at risk and their families. The key is early detection. But recognizing the early signs can be a challenge for parents and healthcare professionals alike.


Our organization aims to educate parents, healthcare providers, early childhood educators, and other professionals to ensure the best developmental outcome for every child. Our goals are to improve screening and referral practices and to lower the age at which young children are identified with developmental delays and disorders.


The First Signs website provides a wealth of vital resources, covering a range of issues: from monitoring development, to concerns about a child; from the screening and referral process, to . We invite you to sharing concerns explore our website in your search for answers.

Dr. Barbera, PhD, RN, BCBA-D

Mary Lynch Barbera, PhD, RN, BCBA-D is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, an Author and Autism Expert.  She is the mother of a teen-age son with autism.  In 2007, she authored The Verbal Behavior Approach to help parents and professionals learn strategies to teach children with autism. Her book has received several prominent endorsements from both parents and professionals, has sold over 25,000 copies, and is now available in several languages.  Dr. Barbera's book captures, describes and defines early, intensive instruction effective at increasing communication based on a functional approach and analysis of language.


Blog post: Getting Started with the VB Approach (Nov 2013)

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) now has a tool kit to help parents work with their children’s applied behavior analysts. (Learn more and download it here.) Although the tool kit was developed with children and teens in mind, it also contains helpful information for those wanting to better understand and support ABA therapy for an adult with autism. 


What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Behavior analysis focuses on the principles that explain how learning takes place. Positive reinforcement is one such principle. When a behavior is followed by some sort of reward, the behavior is more likely to be repeated. Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning.


Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior.

As mentioned, behavior analysts began working with young children with autism and related disorders in the 1960s. Early techniques often involved adults directing most of the instruction. Some allowed the child to take the lead. Since that time, a wide variety of ABA techniques have been developed for building useful skills in learners with autism – from toddlers through adulthood.


These techniques can be used in structured situations such as a classroom lesson as well as in "everyday" situations such as family dinnertime or the neighborhood playground. Some ABA therapy sessions involve one-on-one interaction between the behavior analyst and the participant. Group instruction can likewise prove useful.


How Does ABA Benefit Those with Autism? 

Today, ABA is widely recognized as a safe and effective treatment for autism.  It has been endorsed by a number of state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Surgeon General and the New York State Department of Health.  Over the last decade, the nation has seen a particularly dramatic increase in the use of ABA to help persons with autism live HAPPY and PRODUCTIVE lives.  In particular, ABA principles and techniques can foster basic skills such as looking, listening and imitating, as well as complex skills such as reading, conversing and understanding another person's perspective.


For more information visit: Autism Speaks / Applied Behavior Analysis