Applied Behavioral Analysis

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What is ABA?

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a scientific approach to understanding behavior. It works towards improving positive behaviors that are helpful in everyday life, while discouraging negative behaviors that affect learning, communication, and other essential life skills.

Who can benefit from ABA services?

ABA is simply for everyone. Although it is mainly used to improve the lives of people with autism, it is also considered a great way to reduce behavioral problems. Studies have shown that 47% of children involved in ABA programs at an early age were able to achieve higher educational performance.

At what age ABA is most effective?

ABA works best for infants, children, and adolescents.

What skills do we work on?

ABA helps develop basic skills (such as: attending, listening, and imitating), as well as more complex skills (such as: reading, conversing, joint attention, focus, social skills, memory, and academic performance). To sum up, ABA programs maintain and enhance positive behaviors and decrease problematic ones.

ABA therapy programs can help: 

  • Promote language and communication skills
  • Improve attention, memory, social and academic skills
  • Decrease problem behaviors

When can we start ABA?

Children who start treatment plans at earlier age were found to improve academic performance faster. Children as young as 24 months can engage and benefit from ABA therapy.

How does ABA work?

ABA is an evidence-based treatment that proved to be useful in addressing behavioral problems. ABA techniques focus on antecedents (what happens before the behavior occurs) and consequences (what happens after the behavior occurs). Through these techniques, therapists can help their patients develop and improve major life skills.

ABA programs are highly flexible as they can be:

  • Adapted to meet the individual needs of patients
  • Provided in different locations – home, school, etc.
  • Used to develop and improve basic life skills
  • Offered through one-to-one or group sessions

What happens during sessions?

Clients are offered tailored treatment programs designed by highly-trained BCBAs and based on the individual needs, interests, and skill level of each patient. The programs help patients develop, maintain and improve major skills that help them live a more independent and near-to-normal life.

The BCBA starts by conducting a skill assessment to devise the appropriate treatment plan/goals of each individual based on their age, needs, and skill level. The plan targets major skill gaps (such as communication and language, self-care, motor skills, learning and academic skills, and social skills, etc.)

During a session, the therapist breaks the goal down into smaller steps and teaches one-step at a time. The process moves gradually from simple skills (like imitating single sounds) to more complex skills (like conversing and joint attention).

BCBAs constantly collect data and meet with family members to monitor treatment progress and adjust plans and goals accordingly.

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