What is ABA and How Does It Work

Applied Behavior Analysis, (ABA) is a research based, scientific method of therapy used to improve or change specific behaviors. ABA is a globally recognized and endorsed form of therapy that has been proven effective for those individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, (ASD), as well as other developmental disabilities.

Decades of research has shown that intense Applied Behavior Analysis proves to be the most successful treatment approach for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Although, individuals of any age can benefit from ABA therapy, throughout their lifespan, starting therapy at a young age, with a robust, consistent schedule of sessions, has been found to be most effective.

ABA therapy breaks down targeted skills into simple steps and focuses on teaching each step, in succession.

The science of ABA measures observable behavior and is the study of the functional relationship between an individual’s behavior and their environment. When utilizing ABA, skills are taught with the use of prompting and reinforcement of correct responses that increase the likelihood that a behavior or response will occur more often in the future.

Positive rewards encourage the individual to continue using the skill or the appropriate response and over time, lead to meaningful behavior changes and skill building. These techniques and principles are used to bring about positive changes in behavior and cause a reduction of those behaviors that may cause harm or interfere with learning, communication and development.

ABA is a data driven therapy, which means the implemented programs, skill acquisition, interventions and progress are all tracked and analyzed to maintain the effectiveness of treatment.

Constant team and program supervision is the responsibility of the leading clinicians and Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA), who head the team, ensure appropriate plans are in place, progress is being made and the individual is set up for success.

ABA can help decrease negative behaviors that endanger the health and safety of individuals with ASD. These changes, no matter how small, can create significant improvements within different areas of an individual’s life. This results in great improvement to overall wellbeing and general quality of life.

ABA therapy can take place in a variety of settings. ABA involves teaching behaviors essential to functioning appropriately in the home, in school and within community and social settings. ABA Direct Services are best provided in a 1:1 (individual/therapist) setting but can also be provided in group settings depending on the personalized need. Individuals working on social skills may need participation of a peer or to be included in a group to learn and practice skills, with the support of their therapist.

ABA programs target and support improvement in various areas such as:

Social Skills
Self Help Skills
Functional Skills
Social Cognition
Functional Play
Communication, Language, & Conversation Skills
Academics and School Readiness
Generalization of Skills in Different Areas

Toileting Skills
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Attending Skills
Imitative Skills
Focus and Memory
Behavior Management
Decrease Inappropriate Behaviors
Vocational and Job Readiness