Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy is an evidence-based form of therapy typically used to treat children with autism who may lack certain skills and exhibit challenging behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
ABA therapy is based on the defining principle of Behavior Analysis, which states that all behavior is shaped by one’s environment. Simply put, behaviors are heavily influenced by whatever consequences the behavior causes and positive behaviors that result in positive outcomes will be repeated and therefore learned.
ABA therapy’s defining characteristic is the use of positive reinforcement to help children with autism develop positive behaviors. ABA therapy exclusively employs positive reinforcement techniques that teach children that positive behavior leads to positive consequences.
“We’re seeing growth in the demand for ABA therapy because it’s the kind of therapeutic solution that comes to parents with other areas, and now, there’s a proven track record from this practice with positive outcomes for children,” said David Mikula, CEO of Inner Circle Autism Network.
This logical, evidence-based approach shapes the child’s entire ABA therapy program through the systematic application of techniques and activities that teach children positive behaviors and reduce behaviors that may impair their daily life.
Scientific Theory 60 Years in the Making
ABA therapy is widely regarded as the only scientifically valid therapy for addressing behavioral issues for children with autism, improving communication and social skills while reducing challenging behaviors commonly associated with autism spectrum disorder.
Originally developed in the 1960s, ABA therapy has been proven effective over the course of thousands of studies that showed improvement in children with autism across a wide range of areas, including social development, communication skills, academic engagement, play skills, self-care skills, and more.
“We might be conducting therapy in the context of play and fun, social activities, but the process and methods we use are rooted in scientific methodology proven to benefit children with autism as they learn to develop and use positive social, communication, and learning skills.” said Inner Circle clinical treatment director Laura Story, MA, MEd., BCBA.
The Experts Behind ABA Therapy Programs
ABA therapy programs are designed by a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who has completed graduate-level coursework and a minimum of 1,000 hours of field work. BCBAs are highly specialized experts responsible for assessing a child’s skills and needs to create an individualized ABA therapy program specific to their strengths and areas of need.
Every session of ABA therapy includes methodical data collection on the child’s behaviors to their environment and stimuli, allowing BCBAs to reach accurate conclusions about the causes and results of the child’s behavior.
This scientific process conducted by an ABA expert ensures every ABA therapy program adheres to positive reinforcement principles and that progress is scientifically gathered and measured.
Learn more about ABA therapy here.