ABA, or Applied Behavior Analysis, is an individualized approach to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior. It is a science that focuses on the principles of behavior & motivation. In turn, these principles can help assist in the understanding of behavior and explain how learning takes place. When we design a program for a client, we first look at their individual needs, specifically what behaviors we want to increase (language, eye contact, functional living skills, appropriate social play skills, etc.) and what behaviors we want to decrease (aggression, tantrums, biting, etc.). In Applied Behavior Analysis, we are interested in how to arrange the environment in order for the individual to find success in learning. We use different assessments (i.e., functional assessment interviews, direct observation, ABLLS-R, AFLS, VB-MAPP, etc.) to assist in the development of an ABA program that is the ideal match for the client and addresses their individual needs. We then create a program that targets that client’s specific needs in a way for them to live a happier and more independent lifestyle. The programs we design break complex behaviors into small, teachable components and we use a variety of teaching methods, such as: Verbal Behavior (VB), Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT), Prompting and Fading, Shaping and Chaining, Natural Environment Teaching (NET), Errorless Learning, and Reinforcement. We give our clients a lot of guidance and positive feedback, with frequent and ongoing analysis to ensure what we are doing is effective. This increases the overall success rate of learning.
Applied Behavior Analysis therapy can be implemented in any environment (clinic, home, school, community). More information about Applied Behavior Analysis and ABA can be found on the websites of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.