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Breaking the Myths

When it comes to Applied Behavior Analysis, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding what ABA is, what it is used for, etc.

We want to help spread awareness and break these myths!

The first myth we will be discussing is that ABA is only used for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

This is false!

ABA has been successfully applied to various populations such as the following: *Health and fitness *Organizational behavior Management *Criminal Justice *Education *And much more…

For instance, ABA strategies have been used to develop skills in football, gymnastics, yoga, and tennis, increase the use of helmet wearing for middle-school age children, reduce substance abuse, smoking cessation, increasing safety in the workplace, and increasing seat belt use just to name a few.

Help us spread the word! The next time you hear someone reference that ABA is only for individuals with ASD show them some research.

Much Thanks!!


Allison, M. G., & Ayllon, T. (1980). Behavioral coaching in the development of skills in football, gymnastics, and tennis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 13(2), 297–314.

Chivers, L. L., Higgins, S. T., Heil, S. H., Proskin, R. W., & Thomas, C. S. (2008). Effects of Initial Abstinence and Programmed Lapses on The Relative Reinforcing Effects of Cigarette Smoking. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 41(4), 481–497.

Downs, H. E., Miltenberger, R. , Biedronski, J. and Witherspoon, L. (2015), The effects of video self‐evaluation on skill acquisition with yoga postures. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 48: 930-935. doi:10.1002/jaba.248

Dunn, K. E., Sigmon, S. C., Thomas, C. S., Heil, S. H., & Higgins, S. T. (2008). Voucher-Based Contingent Reinforcement of Smoking Abstinence Among Methadone-Maintained Patients: A Pilot Study. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 41(4), 527–538.

Himle, M. B., Miltenberger, R. G., Flessner, C., & Gatheridge, B. (2004). Teaching safety skills to children to prevent gun play. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 37(1), 1–9.

Van Houten, R., Van Houten, J., & Louis Malenfant, J. . (2007). Impact of a Comprehensive Safety Program on Bicycle Helmet Use Among Middle-school Children. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 40(2), 239–247.

Written by Vanessa Bethea-Miller, M.A., BCBA, LBS

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