What is ABA Therapy?

In this 3 part blog series I'll provide an overview of ABA therapy.

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is a scientific discipline of intensive therapy based on the theory of behaviourism.  It has grown to become one of the most common, evidence based methods used to treat Autism, and has become an effective means of intervention for this population.  The ABA method focuses on all areas of development and teaches communication (verbal and non-verbal),   social, motor, and play skills, as well as academics and reasoning skills and can also be effective in managing challenging and problematic behaviours including tantrums, self-injurious and socially inappropriate behaviours.  

Many people have heard the term “ABA” but aren’t sure what it means or what ABA involves.  A breakdown of the terms is helpful. First, applied simply means that as behaviour analysts we select behaviours to teach that are socially significant (language, reading, play and leisure skills, following instructions, and so on) and that we use behaviour analytic principles to teach those skills. The term behaviour refers to responses (teaching targets) that we can observe and measure so we can track when they occur. This way, we know if these important behaviours are increasing as a result of our teaching.  Finally, we use analysis to look at events that before the response such as instructions and prompts, and consequences that occur after the response such as praise, toys, edibles or access to activities.

In part 2 I’ll discuss how ABA is structured, in the meantime if you have any questions about ABA please contact me on 0411 409 749.