5 Amazing ABA BOOKS

In this article, we will look at the best recommended books and other literary sources that provide insight and knowledge of Applied Behavioural Analysis. 

These applied behaviour analysis books are considered the best out there for self-help solutions and mental health techniques. They range from books for parents, students, teachers and other professionals. 

A list of ABA books

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  • Science and human behaviour by B.F. Skinner.
  • Applied behaviour analysis by John O. Cooper, William C. Leward and Timothy E. Heron. 
  • Applied Behaviour Analysis for Teachers, Paul A. Alberto and Anne C. Troutman. 
  • Ethics for Behavior Analysts, Jon Bailey and Mary Burch. 
  • No More Meltdowns by Jed Baker. 
  • Handbook of Applied Behavior Analysis by Wayne W. Fisher, Cathleen C. Piazza and Henry S. Roane, Eds.
  • Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis by Jon S. Bailey and Mary R. Burch.
  • Meaningful Differences Between the Everyday Experiences of Young American Children by Betty Hart and Todd Risley.
  • Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant. 
  • Functional Assessment for Challenging Behaviors by Johnny L. Matson. 
  • Functional Behavioral Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment: A Complete System for Education and Mental Health Settings by Ennio Cipani.

Let’s look at these books in more detail further in the article. 

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What is applied Behavioral analysis? 

Applied Behavioral Analysis ABA is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior. It is a highly efficient therapy that can improve communication, social and learning skills through reinforcement strategies. These strategies have been widely adopted for young autistic people. 

Let’s begin with some selected books along with their official descriptions. 

Science and Human Behavior, B.F. Skinner

Is it a surprise that we have a B.F. Skinner book first on the list? Science and Human behaviour is a detailed text that every aspirant should read. Although there’s been changes and modifications in the theory, it is an important part of the evolution of ABA. 

Description: “The psychology classic—a detailed study of scientific theories of human nature and the possible ways in which human behavior can be predicted and controlled—from one of the most influential behaviorists of the twentieth century and the author of Walden Two.”

Applied Behavior Analysis, John O. Cooper, William C. Leward and Timothy E. Heron. 

Applied behaviour analysis written by Cooper, William and Heron is a thoroughly researched guide to the treatment models within ABA. It has a classic feel to it and can be challenging to read, however, it is helpful when referring to various theories and treatment strategies for a client.

Description: This text provides an accurate, comprehensive, and contemporary description of applied behavior analysis in order to help students acquire fundamental knowledge and skills. Applied Behavior Analysis provides a comprehensive, in-depth discussion of the field, offering a complete description of the principles and procedures for changing and analysing socially important behavior.

Applied Behaviour Analysis for Teachers, Paul A. Alberto and Anne C. Troutman. 

This is a commonly used text in schools and universities for studying the basics of ABA. It includes practical and real life examples and advice that can be applied outside the book. It is a easy-to-read, engaging book for application based examples.

Description: “Scholarly and empirically based, this market-leading text gives students what they need to understand to use the principles and practices of applied behaviour analysis in the classroom. The content is presented clearly in a friendly, accessible–even fun–manner. The ninth edition uses general education classroom-based examples and practices firmly grounded in research. Content is presented in the order of decision-making by a teacher who has a student exhibiting challenging behaviour in class or a student who needs to execute a behaviour-change project.“

Ethics for Behavior Analysts, Jon Bailey and Mary Burch. 

Ethics for behaviour analysts, published in 2016, now in its 3rd edition, is also important for parents and professionals to update their knowledge and awareness of the social changes happening around the world. The book lays out professional and ethical code of conduct and includes real world examples to outline ethical ways to deal with problems. 

Description: “This fully-updated third edition of Jon Bailey and Mary Burch’s bestselling Ethics for Behavior Analysts is an invaluable guide to understanding and implementing the newly-revised Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) Professional and Ethical Compliance Code. Featured in this new edition are case studies drawn from the author’s real-world practice with hints to guide readers toward the ethical ‘solution’ and revised chapters, including how this new edition evolved alongside the revised Code and tips for succeeding in your first job as a certified behavior analyst. The complete, revised BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code is included as an appendix. This third edition improves upon what has become a go-to resource for behavior analysts in training and in practice.”

No More Meltdowns by Jed Baker. 

No more meltdowns is a book with personal experiences as well as professional accounts of both Jed Baker and Carol Kranowitz. It has easy language and an organised description of ABA. It is mostly suitable for parents who are learning to cope with their child’s tantrums as well as for people outside the mental health field. It explains the dynamics between parents and children and the reality around daily life coping. In the book, Baker presents a four-step model for addressing tantrums and behavioral problems. In the book, Baker presents a four-step model for addressing tantrums and behavioral problems.

Description: It could happen anywhere: at the grocery store, at a restaurant, at school, or at home. Meltdowns are stressful for both child and adult, but Dr. Baker can help! Author of the award-winning Social Skills Picture Book series, Dr. Jed Baker offers parents and teachers strategies for preventing and managing meltdowns. Over twenty years of experience working with children on the autism spectrum combined with his personal experiences raising his own children have yielded time-tested strategies-and results! Dr. Baker offers an easy-to-follow, four-step model that will improve your everyday relationships with the children in your life, including managing your own emotions by adjusting your expectations, learning strategies to calm a meltdown in the moment, understanding why a meltdown occurs, and creating plans to prevent future meltdowns.

Handbook of Applied Behavior Analysis by Wayne W. Fisher, Cathleen C. Piazza and Henry S. Roane, Eds.

This books is perfect for those of you looking to begin their journey of research into applied behaviour analysis. Written by two authorities on the subject, Handbook of Applied Behavior Analysis offers its readers detailed descriptions of the various theories, research, and intervention methods of ABA.

Description: Describing the state of the science of applied behavior analysis (ABA), this comprehensive handbook provides detailed information about theory, research, and intervention. The contributors are leading ABA authorities who present best practices in behavioral assessment and demonstrate evidence-based strategies for supporting positive behaviors and reducing problem behaviors. Conceptual, empirical, and procedural building blocks of ABA are reviewed and specific applications described in education, autism treatment, safety skills for children, and other areas. The volume also addresses crucial professional and ethical issues, making it a complete reference and training tool for ABA practitioners and students.

Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis by Jon S. Bailey and Mary R. Burch

This books has been described as the most instructional in the way it explains the steps through conduction all the way to evaluating, and disseminating scholarly work in behavior analysis. Having this book as a resource gives the junior researcher the wisdom and guidance of a widely-published secondary mentor, Dr. Jon Bailey. 

Description: Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis, 2nd edition, is a practical text that provides the beginning researcher with a clear description of how behavior analysts conduct applied research and submit it for publication. In a sequence of ten logical steps, the text covers the elements of single-case research design and the practices involved in organizing, implementing, and evaluating research studies. This revision includes new material on how to critique a journal article and how to extract treatment ideas from published studies. The novice researcher receives a “steps for success” approach that is brief, useful, to the point, and clearly delineated.

Meaningful Differences Between the Everyday Experiences of Young American Children by Betty Hart and Todd Risley.

This is a very important book for expecting parents and those with children under 2 years old. The researchers recognize the number of words a child is exposed to and that correlated with their educational output. Although it includes the important data if one desires to read it, it is also explained in normal applicable terms.

Description: Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children is the story of the landmark research study that uncovered the widely cited “word gap” between children from low-income homes and their more economically advantaged peers. This groundbreaking research has spurred hundreds of studies and programs, including the White House Bridging the Word Gap campaign and Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton foundation.

Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prizant. 

Prizant takes a very inclusive, whole-child approach. He emphasizes observation and listening in order to understand individuals with autism. It takes an approach not often spoken about, which is not look at autism symptoms as deficits but rather as ways of coping with an overwhelming world. 

Description: Autism is usually portrayed as a checklist of deficits, including difficulties interacting socially, problems in communicating, sensory challenges, and repetitive behavior patterns. This perspective leads to therapies focused on ridding individuals of autistic symptoms. In Uniquely Human, Dr. Barry M. Prizant suggests a major shift in understanding autism: Instead of classifying “autistic” behaviors as signs of pathology, he sees them as strategies to cope with a world that feels chaotic and overwhelming.

Functional Assessment for Challenging Behaviors by Johnny L. Matson. 

Those from fields of clinical psychology, school psychology, applied behavior analysis, pediatric psychiatry, social work, and developmental psychology, will appreciate the review and analysis of the applied method in this book. This book discusses applying behavior theory to difficult behaviors including self-injurious behavior (SIB), stereotypic behavior, aggressive behavior, and feeding disorders.

Description: As the cornerstone of applied behavior analysis, functional assessment is supported by a burgeoning literature that focuses on identification of and interventions for aggressive, self-injurious, and other challenging behaviors. Although the number of research studies continues to grow, full-length volumes on using functional assessment to address these behaviors remain few and far between.

Functional Behavioral Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment: A Complete System for Education and Mental Health Settings by Ennio Cipani

This textbook is helpful for learning how to conduct FBAs and identify functions of behavior. It follows a very interactive approach and works well for teaching and as a guide. It provides special codes that break down the different types of functions and whether the functions are socially mediated or are direct access.

Description: Featuring a highly interactive approach, this text is noted for its exceptionally clear and thorough coverage of how to conduct a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) through various assessment methods, how to diagnose the function of problem behaviors, and how to select a behavioral intervention that addresses the diagnosed function. The development of requisite behavior-analytic skills is aided by utilizing many “real-life” and hypothetical cases that represent common scenarios in applied settings.

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