Applied behaviour analysis was founded on the scientific study of principles of learning and behaviour.
Professionals in the field of applied behaviour analysis apply empirically based principles of learning, including operant learning and respondent learning, in many diverse settings. ABA is based on the systematic measurement of observable behaviours to improve socially significant behaviours amongst a wide variety of the population.
Socially significant behaviours include communication, social skills, academic skills, gross and fine motor skills, toileting, dressing, eating and self-help skills.
What ABA is:
ABA is the application of behavioral principles to everyday situations that will, over time, increase or decrease targeted behaviors.
ABA is an evidence based practice. What this means is that ABA treatment programs incorporate findings from hundreds of studies published in peer reviewed journals over the past fifty years.
ABA is based on well founded theories of learning. These are the same theories that taught us to press the brake pad to stop and the accelerator pad to move when learning to drive a car.
What ABA is not:
Aba is not restricted to sitting at a table whilst repeatedly performing discrete trials for hours on end. Whilst discrete trials are incorporated into most programs, they are only one of a wide variety of effective teaching tools.
ABA is notdelivered in a single setting environment using a one to one format. Whilst a one to one format is a common therapy component, settings that maximize individual outcomes are not limited to a specific learning environment.
ABA Strategies Include:
Breaking skills down into smaller units which make them easier to learn.
Prompts when teaching new skills, which are then systematically faded.
Multiple opportunities to practice skills during the learning phase.
Reinforcement of appropriate behaviours and responses.
A higher ratio of easy versus challenging tasks to keep the learner motivated.