What is ABA?
ABA is an acronym for Applied Behavior Analysis. ABA is the practical application of the foundations of behaviorism. The principles of ABA drive the instruction and interactions we have in the classroom across the entire school day including arrival, structured play, group time, lunch and snack, washing hands, toileting, and, of course, work time. The formal definition is:"The science in which procedures derived from the principles of behavior are systematically applied to improve socially significant behavior to a meaningful degree and to demonstrate experimentally that the procedures employed were responsible for the improvement in behavior.“ (Cooper, Heron, Howard, 1987)
In other terms, changes in behavior are measured and shown to be the result of procedures used by the teacher or parent.ABA is the only empirically-validated (i.e., scientifically proven through research and studies) intervention that demonstrates improved outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorders across a variety of skills including speech and language/communication, cognitive skills, social and play skills, daily living and self-help skills, etc.. ABA encompasses many principles, such as positive reinforcement, as well as many instrucitonal techniques and strategies including discrete trial instruction (DTI), natural environment training (NET), incidental teaching, chaining, shaping, etc. ABA also includes the science of verbal behavior which analyzes language and communication using the principles of behavior and can be applied to speech and language instruction including manding (requesting), tacting (labeling), intraverbal (answering questions, engaging in conversation), and echoics (vocal imitation). Over the course of the year, stay tuned to the weekly bulletins for more on each of these topics!I have been studying and applying the principles of ABA in a classroom and home setting for over nine years. I am excited to share my knowledge with you and your family so please do not hesitate to reach out at any time!