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What is ABA?
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Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an evidence-based approach to help clients gain new skills, and also address problem behavior across environments so that they can become more involved and independent with their families and in their communities.

ABA research dates back to the 1950s; however, a study in the 1980s on an intensive, 40 hours/week ABA program stands as the most influential publication supporting intensive ABA programming. Others have replicated these findings using the same teaching strategies. Currently, intensive ABA intervention is the only research-supported treatment for autism spectrum disorders. It has been formally recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General and the New York State Health Department. ABA has been proven beneficial for individuals with various disabilities and across all ages. ABA interventions can help with a number of different challenges, ranging from sleep disturbances to teaching vocational and toileting skills.

ABA can look very different based on a number of factors such as where it is being implemented (e.g., school vs. home environment), what skills are being targeted, the client’s current skills, etc. Although ABA is typically thought of as a structured, 1:1 teaching strategy, it is also used in the natural environment so the skills are as functional and meaningful as possible.

 
 

ABA has been used in…
 
ABA has been used for...
 
ABA has been used to address…
Not exclusive
• Special education classrooms
• Regular education classrooms
• Clinical settings
• Business organizations
• Nursing homes
• Day treatment programs
• Early intervention programs
• Daycares
• Homes
• Hospitals
Not exclusive
• Autism
• Developmental disabilities
• Traumatic brain injury
• Stroke
• Gerontology
• Organizational performance management
• Training and instructional design
• Anxiety reduction
• Phobias
• Pain management
• Sleep disorders
• Addictions
• Habit and tic disorders
Not exclusive
• Toileting
• School refusal
• Attention/concentration
• Traffic safety
• Child abuse prevention
• Food selectivity
• Social skills
• Language and communication
• Aggression
• Repetitive behaviors
• Play skills
• Vocational skills
• Daily living skills
         


Sources: Lovaas (1987), Sallows, & Graupner (2005), Surgeon General (1990), NY Health Dept (2000),
France, & Hudson (1990), Cuvo, Leaf, & Borakove (1978), Azrin, & Foxx (1971)

 


 
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