About Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific approach for understanding and addressing socially significant problem behaviors and teaching meaningful skills. ABA is based on the principles of behaviorism, a science that has proven its effectiveness in psychology and education with both neuro-typical and classified populations over the last 100 years.
Methods in applied behavior analysis range from validated intensive behavioral interventions—most notably utilized for children with an autism spectrum disorder —to basic research, which investigates the rules by which humans adapt and maintain behavior. However, applied behavior analysis contributes to a full range of areas including: business management, education, gerontology, health and exercise, industrial safety, language acquisition, medical procedures, parenting, psychotherapy, community enhancement, severe mental disorders, sports, and training of animals.
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ABA & Autism Treatment
Philosophical and Evidence Based Approach
Behavioral treatment that focuses on the problems associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder is commonly known as Verbal Behavior (VB) training. The methods employed in VB training are derived from the principals of Applied Behavior Analysis and are more specifically directed at teaching the skills that are common deficits for individuals with Autism. These include: communication, language, play and social interaction.
Verbal Behavior is both a philosophy of ABA and a series of evidence based teaching techniques that focus the principles of ABA on the acquisition of language & related skills. The individuals primarily responsible for development of the VB approach include, Dr. Jack Michael, Dr. James Partington and Dr. Mark Sundberg. It was from the procedural differences and unique classification of the Verbal Behavior approach to autism intervention that one of the greatest potentials of ABA began. The goal of any good ABA/VB program is to identify a child’s naturally occurring motivation, capture it, and use it to help them learn meaningful skills. In doing so, we can begin to add new, more typical or appropriate desires to their list of motivating items while making the inappropriate motivators less valuable to them.
Empirical studies provide much support for the effectiveness of Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) for children with Autism. Researchers and practitioners agree that ABA training should start as early as possible and must be incorporated into a family’s lifestyle in order for the best outcomes to occur for any individual. Thanks to ABA, and in a large part to the advancements of the Verbal Behavior approach to ABA, more children are making important progress and recovering from the effects of autism every year.