What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

 By: Mary Kate
BCRC works directly with families and is proud to be a leader among Applied Behavior Analysis agencies.

- Applied Behavior Analysis is tangible, measurable, and concrete. It is backed by over 40 years of research and has been endorsed by the United States Surgeon General as the most effective treatment for individuals diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

- Through ABA, behaviors are addressed systematically by utilizing assessments and data rich behavior plans.

- The goal is to increase, decrease, modify or extinguish a behavior to improve the quality of life for an individual and their family.

- Applied Behavior Analysis can be used to treat a multitude of challenging behaviors. From tantruming and self-stimulatory behavior to language development and improvement of social skills, its applications are endless.

- B.F. Skinner was a Harvard professor and researcher of Psychology who spent his career immersed in the behavior of all living things. He was an author, therapist, and inventor who made countless contributions to the field of behavior analysis and coined the term experimental behavior analysis. It was through the inspirational work of B.F. Skinner that the professional field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) was created.

- "In 1938, Skinner published The Behavior Of Organisms, which described operant conditioning, or the process by which learning occurs as the result of selection by consequences of behavior. Skinner also discussed how antecedent stimuli, when correlated with the function altering effects of consequences, also alter future occurrences of that behavior. This is known as a three-term contingency (A-B-C), the basic unit of analysis of behavior, and was the first description of the discrete trial. In addition to describing the instructional trial, Skinner detailed the basic experimental methodology that led to his findings, which he termed the experimental analysis of behavior (EAB). Later applications of this science to education, and to other matters of socially significant behavior, by behavior analysts led to what is now known as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)" (Burk, 2000).

- B.F. Skinner was fascinated by the complexities of human behavior. "Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, is a scientific approach for discovering environmental variables that reliably influence socially significant behavior and of developing a technology of behavior change that takes practical advantage of those discoveries" (Cooper, Heron, and Heward, 2007). Through ABA, behaviors are addressed systematically by utilizing assessments and data rich behavior plans. The goal is to increase, decrease, modify or extinguish a behavior to improve the quality of life for an individual and their family. Applied Behavior Analysis is tangible, measurable, and concrete. It is backed by over 40 years of research and has been endorsed by the United States Surgeon General as the most effective treatment for individuals diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

- Applied Behavior Analysis can be used to treat a multitude of challenging behaviors. From tantruming and self-stimulatory behavior to language development and improvement of social skills, its applications are endless. In addition to Autism, ABA has been proven as an effective treatment for individuals with a range of disabilities and challenges; such as: Down Syndrome, ADHD, and other Neurological Disorders.
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