What is ABA?
Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the study of human behavior and how it can be changed –specifically the relationship between socially significant behavior and the environment. The principles of ABA provide a basis for many different teaching methods, many of which are described below. The principles of ABA, as well as ABA-based teaching methods and interventions are supported by over 50 years of research clinical work. ABA is concerned with identifying the important environmental variables that can be manipulated and changed to reduce problem behavior (e.g., dangerous behavior, or behavior that impedes learning or independence) and teach and strengthen appropriate behavior and skills that will increase independence and quality of life for the individual and their family. Behavior targeted for decrease or increase is precisely defined and assessments are conducted to gain more information to be used to develop a specific intervention and teaching plans. Once the intervention and teaching plans are implemented, data are taken and monitored to provide direct measures of progress and the need for immediate modification to maximize success. ABA-based interventions typically focus on pro-active strategies and positive reinforcement (providing rewards). Teaching plans may break skills down into small, manageable parts, implement highly specific teaching strategies, use prompts to support correct responding, and include the use of positive reinforcement. Below are specific ABA approaches that may be used to address the goals within treatment:
Natural Environment Teaching (NET)
Communication Training (Verbal Behavior Approach)
Visual schedules/independent activity schedule
Social Stories developed to address specific social situations