Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is based on the principles of behavior analysis developed by B.F. Skinner in the 1930’s. ABA is a scientific approach to understanding the interaction between behavior and the environment. ABA focuses on what is called the “3 Term Contingency” which is made up of the antecedent (what happens before the behavior), the behavior, and the consequence (what happens after the behavior occurs).
Through taking and analyzing data related to the antecedent, behavior, and consequence, we are able to search for patterns in behavior. Once we identify patterns, we are able to implement function based interventions. Function based interventions target the root cause, or function, of an individual’s behavior. Despite the seemingly endless behaviors that an individual can display, there are actually only four functions that maintain behaviors; attention, escape/avoidance, access to items, and automatic reinforcement. ABA employs the use of basic behavioral principles and techniques such as positive reinforcement, prompting, token economies, and task analyses to shape behaviors.
Professionals began utilizing ABA successfully with individuals with autism and related disorders in the 1960’s. Since then, ABA has expanded as a field and is now widely used in a variety of settings for an array of skill areas such as academics, adaptive behavior, play and social skills. ABA can be used to increase the occurrence of desirable behaviors as well as to decrease the frequency of maladaptive behaviors, including tantrums and aggression. ABA has been endorsed by a number of state and federal agencies including the US Surgeon General, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Association for Science in Autism Research.
Contact us today to see how you can begin taking advantage of the benefits of ABA with your child.