Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a type of therapy that focuses on improving specific behaviors, such as social skills, communication, reading, and academics as well as adaptive learning skills, such as fine motor dexterity, hygiene, grooming, domestic capabilities, punctuality, and job competence.
ABA is effective for children and adults with psychological disorders in a variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, homes, and clinics.
It has also been shown that consistent ABA can significantly improve behaviors and skills and decrease the need for special services.
ABA is commonly practiced as a therapeutic intervention for individuals with autism. According to the Center for Autism, ABA helps the autistic client improve social interactions, learn new skills, and maintain positive behaviors.
ABA also helps transfer skills and behavior from one situation to another, controlling situations where negative behaviors arise and minimizing negative behaviors.
With autism, ABA is most successful when intensely applied for more than 20 hours a week and prior to the age of 4.
When working with an ABA therapist, you will:
1) Determine which behaviors require change
2) Set goals and expected outcomes
3) Establish ways to measure changes and improvements
4) Evaluate where you are now
5) Learn new skills and/or learn how to avoid negative behaviors
6) Regularly review your progress
7) Decide whether or not further behavior modification is necessary
The length of time spent in ABA depends on the severity of the problem and individual rate of improvement.
ABA takes a research approach to therapy based on proven theories of learning and behavior. Therapists who use ABT understand how human behaviors are learned and how they can be changed over time. The therapist evaluates a client’s behavior and develops treatment plans to help improve the communication and behavior skills necessary for success in their personal and professional lives. ABA therapists can also provide training to parents and teachers. For the greatest results, ABA requires heavy monitoring and continuous evaluation.