Behavior Connections
Behavior Intervention for Families Affected by Autism

Your Subtitle text


According to the Autism Society of America, “Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills”.

Autism is a spectrum disorder and it affects each individual differently and at varying degrees.  Autism falls under the umbrella of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD).  No specific cause or cure for autism has been found, but the symptoms can be treated.

Autism is the most common of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders, affecting an estimated 1 in 88 children (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014).  It is growing at a rate of 10-17 percent per year and it costs the U.S. at least $35 billion annually.  Autism can affect anyone, but it is five times more prevalent in boys (ASA).


Applied Behavior Analysis is the application of principles of learning and behavior for the purpose of producing socially significant improvements in people’s lives.  It is an approach based on rules of scientific evidence that views behavior as functional, objectively measures behavior, uses functional analysis, develops individual curriculum, systematically uses reinforcers, promotes generalization, and uses intervention techniques with documented effectiveness.

Applied behavior analysis is a well-developed discipline among the helping professions, with a mature body of scientific knowledge, established standards for evidence-based practice, distinct methods of service, recognized experience and educational requirements for practice, and identified sources of requisite education in universities.” –Behavior Analyst Certification Board


  • Uses methods based on scientific principles of behavior to build socially useful repertoires
  • Can produce lasting improvements in important skill areas
  • Focuses on teaching small units of behavior systematically
  • Focuses on reinforcement, consistency, repeated teaching trials, breaking skills down, and generalization
  • Scientifically proven to be more effective than no intervention, typical early  education services and other therapies


According to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst designs and supervises behavior analytic interventions. The BCBA is able to effectively develop and implement appropriate assessment and intervention methods for use varying situations.  The BCBA teaches others to carry out ethical and effective behavior analytic interventions based on published research and designs and delivers instruction in behavior analysis.

A Board Certified Behavior Analyst must possess a master's degree from an accredited institution, meet specific training and experience requirements, and pass a written exam.  Once certified, a BCBA must follow board guidelines for responsible and ethical conduct.  It is recommended that parents hire a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.