Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the science of human behavior that began with the work of B.F. Skinner over 70 years ago. Skinner identified causes of behavior to be related more to the environment, instead of always within us. He found that the social and physical environment changes our behavior.

When reading this, it is important to keep in mind that when speaking about “behavior,” we are referring to more than what a common person thinks of as “behavior.”

Behaviors you may want to increase:
Talking, sharing, playing, imitating, requesting, labeling, eating with utensils, drinking from an open cup, holding a conversation. These are all behaviors.

Behaviors you may want to decrease:
Hitting, screaming, spending too much time with only a couple toys, constantly repeating words, pick eating, running away. These are all behaviors, too.

When applying B.F. Skinner’s science (it’s not a theory) we can use changes to the social and physical environment to teach new behaviors and decrease those that are getting in your child’s way of learning. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is guided by principles that explain behavior as an effect of the environment. Behavior analysis does not limit the learning process solely to the individual’s capabilities, but instead on learning new skills as a product of the therapist’s capabilities of modifying the social and physical environment.

As the science of Applied Behavior Analysis evolves, improvements to the application of its principles are carefully researched and published in peer reviewed journals. In the past, most ABA programs implemented for children with autism were based on the work published by O. Ivar Lovaas in the 1980’s.

However, during those years Jack Michael, PhD., Mark Sundberg, PhD., and James Partington, PhD., among others in the field, focused on researching Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior and its effectiveness of teaching language skills to person’s with developmental delays, among other disabilities. Their research has enhanced ABA programs by emphasizing the critical elements in language acquisition.

Want to make learning fun for your child? How about making talking fun, too? 
Find out how we do it here: Verbal Behavior

ABA is the single most effective treatment for children with ASD and the only treatment shown to lead to substantial, lasting improvements in the lives of children with autism. Over 1,000 peer-reviewed, scientific autism articles describe ABA’s positive results.