What is Applied Behavior Analysis?
Technically, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the application of principles of behavior to improve socially significant behavior, and experimentation is used to determine which variables are responsible for behavior change.
But what does that mean?
It means that we use methods that have been proven to work to help teach new skills and reduce challenging behaviors. We do this for behaviors that are meaningful for our client and your family, and we focus on teaching skills that will help our clients interact more happily and successfully within their community.
We collect data throughout our sessions, and we do so within the context of our sessions - a quick tally mark here and there - so that we can see what is working and how the behaviors are progressing. This helps us ensure that we are using the most effective methods to make the best improvements.
What does ABA therapy look like?
It can be different for every client and for every program! For some of our clients, a session might include quite a bit of table-top work (discrete trial training), or a session might consist entirely of what looks like play, but is carefully captured learning opportunities as directed by our client. For many of our clients, we are also working throughout the session on life skills like hand-washing, tooth brushing, or toileting programs.
One hallmark of ABA is that we are always looking at the function of the behavior. Every behavior that a person engages in is getting something for that person; when we determine what the behavior is getting for the person engaging in it, we can teach them a more appropriate behavior to get the same thing. For example, a child who does not speak might whine and cry when they are hungry; once we know that this is why they whine and cry in that context, we can help find ways for them to communicate that need to their family and community.
ABA can be used for anyone, regardless of the age, the behavior, or the goals. The approach is always tailored to each individual's needs, and the goal is always to improve our client's quality of life with the most applied, effective, and valid approach possible.
Click here for more information about ABA services and some additional technical details.