What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the science of understanding and changing socially significant behavior. Socially significant behavior(s) can be different for each person, but generally speaking, they are behaviors that will contribute to the individual's quality of daily life.
The premise of ABA is to identify environmental variables that influence behavior of social significance, determine the functional relationship between behavior and those variables and to develop a systematic approach using the principles of behavior that results in behavior change. Simply put, ABA looks at how the environment affects and impacts behavior and then changes the environment to produce a change in behavior.
With respect to behavior change, ABA can be used to
increase positive behaviors of social significance or "good" behavior (i.e. language, self-care, social skills, academic skills)
decrease behaviors that have a negative social impact or "bad" behavior (crying, biting, kicking, self-injurious behavior)
ABA is considered an evidence-based “best” practice treatment by the US Surgeon General and by the American Psychological Association.
In addition, many states have now passed laws mandating coverage for behavioral health treatments, including ABA, as a treatment for Autism. We are proud to say our great state of Ohio is one of them:-)
Comprehensive ABA Treatment
A Comprehensive Approach
Comprehensive ABA refers to treatment that involves multiple goals/targets across all of the developmental domains that are affected by the child's developmental delay. These domains may include, but are not limited to: communication, social, emotional, and adaptive functioning. Maladaptive behaviors are also commonly a focus of comprehensive treatment. In many cases, the overall goal of a comprehensive program is to close the gap between a client's level of functioning and typically developing peers. This type of program ranges in intensity from 30-40 hours of per week.
Focused ABA Treatment
Focused ABA refers to treatment that involves a limited number of behaviors to target. Reducing dangerous behavior, increasing social skills or self-care skills are examples of goals that may be addressed in a Focused ABA program. Focused ABA programs are more short-term and time-limited than comprehensive programs. Focused ABA treatment ranges from 10-25 hours per week of direct therapy.
Focused ABA is sometimes part of a step-down or discharge plan from a comprehensive ABA program.