Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Glossary of ABA Terms


Any trigger that elicits a behavior is an antecedent, such as a direct stimulus or an interpersonal communication. In ABA common antecedents include: verbal requests, questions, physical actions, and environmental factors.


ABA is a measurable, targeted intervention designed to modify behavior and encourage learning. Our therapists keep detailed records and are able to measure change. A baseline is the measurement of a child’s activity and habits before the therapy begins, creating a level to measure progress against.


Any time an antecedent (stimulus) is presented, the child’s resulting action is called a behavior. Behaviors can include: verbal response, mimicking, an act of defiance, mastery of a new skill, or simply no reaction at all.

Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)

A behavior intervention plan is designed to guide your child’s therapy. The BIP identifies behaviors that impede your child’s progress and goes on to lay out a step-by-step program designed to result in useful changes to those behaviors. Behavior Intervention Plans help parents, caregivers, and teachers understand therapy and their role in helping the program succeed.


A consequence is a response to a behavior. Consequences might include: A repeated request, a reward, the loss of a reward, an emotional response. The therapist examines each consequence to see if it increases or decreases the likelihood of a problem behavior.


There are multiple evaluations that take place along your journey.  The first is the evaluation done by the Diagnostic Physician to determine if your child is on the Autism Spectrum. The second is the initial assessment done by a BCBA and provides a baseline from which your child’s unique ABA treatment plan is created.  The third is a periodic evaluation to assess progress and revise your child’s Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)


When ABA Therapy begins, a child typically needs a reinforcer to complete a task. The reward, food for example, encourages the child to complete the task. Extinction refers to the moment the child is able to complete the given task without the reinforcer.


Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may handle a task easily in a familiar environment and then struggle to complete the task in a different scenario. ABA Therapy encourages children to handle the same task well, no matter where they are, and generalization refers to the accomplishment of that ability.

For more information, please feel free to give us a call at 412-319-7371.

How Can We Help You?