Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis focuses on the principles that explain how learning takes place. Positive reinforcement is one such principle. When a behavior is followed by some sort of reward, the behavior is more likely to be repeated. Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior.

As mentioned, behavior analysts began working with young children with autism and related disorders in the 1960s. Early techniques often involved adults directing most of the instruction. Some allowed the child to take the lead. Since that time, a wide variety of ABA techniques have been developed for building useful skills in learners with autism – from toddlers through adulthood.

These techniques can be used in structured situations such as a classroom lesson as well as in “everyday” situations such as family dinnertime or the neighborhood playground. Some ABA therapy sessions involve one-on-one interaction between the behavior analyst and the participant. Group instruction can likewise prove useful.

Tools and Techniques

  • Discrete Trials
  • Motivation and Reinforcement
  • Prompting and Shaping
  • Task Analysis and Chaining
  • Pairing
  • Using Observations

The Foundation of the ACE Application

The New England Center for Children uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) which has been shown to produce substantial benefits for many children with autism.  At the heart of ABA is the belief that educational curricula for children with autism should be based on empirically established and scientifically reviewed evidence, not just theory. The approaches to academics, life skills, communications, and social interaction that are used in the NECC curriculum have all been validated by rigorous study.

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    ABA has been proven the best!

    William Ahearn
    Director of Research, Ph.D., BCBA-D