What is ABA?

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a type of treatment that can alter or change an individuals behavior. ABA can focus on increasing appropriate behaviors as well as decreasing inappropriate ones. ABA is the use of different learning methods proven by scientific research, to change socially important behavior in meaningful ways. It is frequently used to decrease inapproriate behaviors such as self-injury, repetitive movements, aggression, elopement, and tantrums. Although, behaviors may also include communication, play skills, social skills, and adaptive behavior such as eating, hygiene and toileting. The field of ABA is broad, addressing socially important behaviors across a wide range of people and settings. While it is most often used in the treatment of children with developmental disabilities, ABA is also used to improve performance in a variety of fields, such as education, business management, and sports.

ABA is used to ...

Increase Skill Deficits such as:

  • Motor Skills

  • Communicating wants and needs

  • Inappropriate or no play skills

  • Adaptive Skills

  • Preacademic Skills

  • Toliet Training

  • Social Skills with peers

Decrease Inappropriate Behaviors:

  • Physical Aggression

  • Property Destruction

  • Noncompliance

  • Repetitive Movements

  • Tantrums

  • Elopement

  • Self-injury

How is ABA used in clinic?

Applied Behavior Analysis is used to teach a variety of skills

  • Receptive Language Skills - The ability to listen and follow directions.

  • Expressive Language Skills - The ability to make vocalizations in order to make requests, answer questions verbally, ask questions, describe events, etc,.

  • Social Skills and interactions - The interactions we use to communicate and communicate with others.

  • Play Skills - The ability to interact with a variety of toys and activities appropriately, taking turns and sharing during play activities, and following rules within activities

ABA Terms Defined

  • Reinforcement - increases the future rate of the behavior it follows. ssment

  • Prompt - stimulus that increases the liklihood that a beahvior will occur in the presence of a new stimulus. Providing assistance or cues to encourage the use of a specific skill.

  • Shaping - reinforcing steps of correct behavior to meet an end goal or target.

  • Differential Reinforcement - providing a reinforcer to an individual after a behavior, to increase the future probability of that behavior. Reinforce the behavior you want to see, and do not provide reinforcement for the behaviors you do not want to see.

  • Errorless Teaching - a procedure that includes prompting before the learner has the chance to make an error; ensuring success.

  • Acquisition Target - a target or skill that the learner still needs to learn while using prompts.

  • Maintenance Target - a target or skill that the learner has already mastered and does not require prompting.

  • Behavioral Momentum - to build up momentum to what you really want the child to do, by giving them easy or already mastered tasks or demands, that they are highly likely to do first before presenting them with the more difficult tasks.

  • Extinction - determining the function or cause of a behavior and then withholding access to the function in order to reduce the behavior in the future. Fading away and eventually eliminating undesirable behaviors.

  • Spontaneous Recovery - reappearance of a behavior that was once extinct.

  • Motivating Operations - are environmental varables that alter the effectivenes of some stimulus, object, or event as a reinforcer.

For more information on applied behavior analysis, please click on the links below.