A plethora of educational books exist on the topic of ABA therapy skills and techniques. We’ve outlined the top eight ABA books written by experts in the field that can help you improve your work with children and adults with autism.
1. Science and Human Behavior by B.F. Skinner
If you haven’t read Science and Human Behavior yet, it should be at the top of your list. Credited as one of the founders of behaviorism, B.F. Skinner wrote a book that provides foundational knowledge of the field of behavior analysis. Originally published in 1953, Skinner reviews the science of human nature and how behaviors can be changed and reinforced.
The field of behavior analysis has evolved significantly since Science and Human Behavior was initially published, but Skinner’s work underlies much of the field of ABA that therapists work in today. Reading this book will enhance your fundamental knowledge of the field of ABA as well as your current approach to working with clients.
2. Applied Behavior Analysis, 3rd Edition
Written as a textbook-style guide by three Ohio State University faculty members, Applied Behavior Analysis provides a contemporary and comprehensive description of ABA. The goal of the book is to help students and ABA professionals gain the fundamental skills and knowledge they need to be successful ABA therapists.
The textbook features chapters written by prominent experts in the field of ABA. They share their experiences of working in the field, and aspiring ABA therapists can learn from them. The updated version of the book also aligns with the BCBA and BCaBA Analyst Task List, 5th edition.
3. No More Meltdowns by Jed Baker, PhD
No More Meltdowns offers positive-parenting strategies for managing difficult behavior and preventing it from occurring in the first place. The book is written as an easy-to-read guide for parents of children with autism, but it is beneficial for professionals as well. The book aims to provide ABA professionals with a better understanding of the parent-child interaction with children who have behavioral disorders.
If you’re a professional, the book gives you a practical model you can teach to families you work with. You can also recommend the book directly to parents who are interested in doing further reading on the topic themselves.
4. Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism by Barry M. Prinzant, PhD
Considered one of the best autism books of all time and winner of the Autism Society of America’s Temple Grandin Award – Outstanding Literary Work in Autism, Uniquely Human encourages families and professionals affected by autism to reframe how they think about the condition. He shares his simple and positive approach for shaping the beliefs, attitudes, and actions of families and professionals working with individuals with autism.
Dr. Prinzant shares a multitude of strategies and suggestions for how professionals can deepen their insight of autism and improve the effectiveness of their work with children and adults with autism. This book will help you develop an effective and positive mindset rather than viewing autism as something that needs to be fixed.
5. Applied Behavior Analysis: Principles and Procedures for Modifying Behavior by Edward P. Sarafino
More technical in nature, Applied Behavior Analysis: Principles and Procedures for Modifying Behavior provides a tool for ABA professionals to analyze their own behaviors, what factors led to their development, and ways to improve those behaviors. Based on research, theory, and a variety of experiences, the book is a comprehensive text focused on applied behavior analysis, behavior modification, behavior therapy, and the psychology of learning.
Many of the tasks outlined as necessary by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) are covered. Read this book to help you master essential skills every ABA therapist needs.
6. Handbook of Applied Behavior Analysis
Leading experts in the field of ABA contribute to this detailed handbook on theory, research, and intervention techniques. The Handbook of Applied Behavior Analysis is an excellent reference and training tool for ABA professionals. It covers current best practices in the field of ABA, and it provides evidenced-based techniques for reducing challenging behaviors and encouraging positive ones.
In addition to providing practical strategies for working with children and adults with autism, the book also covers how to deal with practical and ethical issues that can arise while working in the field.
7. Applied Behavior Analysis: 50 Case Studies in Home, School, and Community Settings
Real-world case studies are outlined in Applied Behavior Analysis: 50 Case Studies in Home, School, and Community Settings written by Kimberly Maich, PhD, Darren Levine, EdD, and Carmen Hall, BCBA. The authors use real-life examples to illustrate how effective ABA strategies can be used across a variety of settings and situations.
The authors emphasize both the ABA knowledge and the interpersonal skills needed to work effectively with clients with autism. Studies in the book illustrate how to successfully create and implement behavior intervention programs for a range of clients. Reading this book will leave you with a better understanding of how to implement the core components of ABA, including assessment, planning, evaluation, and ethical considerations.
8. Ethics for Behavior Analysts, 3rd Edition by Jon Bailey and Mary Burch
Updated in 2016, Ethics for Behavior Analysts is a bestselling guide for ABA professionals. It helps behavior analysts clearly understand the revised BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code and how to apply the principles in everyday practice. The authors use personal experiences from their own work in the field of ABA to guide readers toward the best ethical solutions.
The newest edition aims to provide tips for therapists just starting their careers as well as for behavior analysts in training and others working in the field. Navigating ethical dilemmas in behavior analysis can be tricky, making this book a valuable resource for all working in the field.
Using ABA Books to Improve Your Therapy Skills
Taking the time to explore books written for ABA professionals, as well as parents, is a great way to encourage your own personal and professional development as an ABA professional. Staying curious about past research and current developments in the field enhances your fundamental understanding of the field of ABA and better informs your daily interactions with all of your clients with autism.
Science and Human Behavior. B.F. Skinner Foundation.
Applied Behavior Analysis, 3rd Edition. Pearson.
No More Meltdowns. Amazon.
Applied Behavior Analysis: Principles and Procedures for Modifying Behavior. PennState University Libraries.
Handbook of Applied Behavior Analysis. Google Books.
Ethics for Behavior Analysts. Google Books.