What is ABA?
Behavior analysis focuses on the principles of behavior, why we do what we do. Positive reinforcement is a key principle. When a behavior is followed by a reward, the behavior is more likely to be repeated. The field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and decreasing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning. These techniques have been proven for decades in numerous research studies.
Behavior analysts began working with young children with autism and related disorders in the 1960s. Since that time, techniques have been developed for building useful skills in learners with autism – from toddlers through adulthood using the principles of ABA. Not only can these techniques be used in the classroom settings, but “everyday” situations as well such as grocery shopping, dinnertime or the local playground. ABA therapy sessions can occur with one-on-one interaction between the behavior analyst and the participant or in groups settings.
Family & Social Impact of ABA
Living with the challenging behaviors autism creates can be very hard on a family. ABA can help reduce or eliminate undesirable behaviors of any kind (self injury, screaming, biting, extreme fears, rigidity, limited food repertoires, etc.). This can dramatically improve the quality of family life and the lower stress levels for parents and siblings. A strong, healthy family is the best gift we can give a person with autism.
As part of in-home training, we like to extend the skills we focus on in the home to community outings. If going out to eat, or public parks are a challenge, sessions will focus on generalization of a skill to these locations. The family’s input is always taken into consideration during plan development and on an ongoing basis throughout programming.