Hyposensitivity – This is the opposite of hypersensitivity in which a person has no or little response from a stimulus.


BCaBA, BCBA, BCBA-D– These certifications are awarded to individuals that have received extra training and/or graduate-level coursework, supervised fieldwork, have passed an examination, and have completed requirements to maintain their credentials.

Backward Chaining

Backward Chaining – A teaching technique in which the learner is taught the last step of a skill first then work back until all steps are done independently. For example, it takes five steps for a child to perform a skill. The instructor will provide the child with maximum support from Step 1 through Step 4 with prompts faded in Step 5 until an acceptable level of performance is observed.  After learning Step 5, Step 4 is targeted to be taught and so on and so forth.

Avoidance Contingency

Avoidance Contingency – If a person sees something that he does not like is about to happen, the person performs a behavior that will result in the unwanted event being delayed or prevented from happening.  For example, a child’s mother placed a bowl of broccoli for a child to eat. As a result, the child runs away from the table. Running away from the table postpones or prevents the event of the child being required to eat something he does not like.

Aversive Stimulus

Aversive Stimulus – An aversive stimulus is anything that someone simply does not like. What those things are varies per person at any given time.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders- Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to an assortment of conditions characterized by difficulties with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences which means individuals living with autism are most likely showing very different symptoms, with symptoms themselves expressed very differently, from each other.

Aspergers Syndrome

Aspergers Syndrome- It is now a part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Aspergers Syndrome used to be considered separate from ASD. The main differences was that these individuals are very verbal and have normal to high IQs, but have social difficulties/impairments, and may have more neurological issues. These individuals sometimes could go undiagnosed until they were older, since common symptoms of Autism may not be present or as obvious enough for families to seek diagnosis for their loved ones. Aspergers Syndrome is now a part of the ASD in the DSM- V.


Antecedent- In behavior analytic terms, an antecedent is simply what happened right before the behavior.  It is very important to be very specific and accurate as to what the actual antecedent is.

Acquisition Task

A behavior or a skill that is still not part of a person’s behavior repertoire. This behavior is skill is actively taught to a learner until it is learned.

ABC’s of Behavior

ABC’s of Behavior– Also known as the 3-term contingency it is a simple tool used to determine the function of a behavior. The A is for antecedent (what happens right before the behavior of concern), the B is the actual behavior of concern, and C is the consequence (what typically happens right after or during the occurrence of the behavior of concern).