What you need to know about ABA Therapy
Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA is a science dedicated to learning and behaviors. All behaviors are learned, and behaviors increase or decrease depending on the consequence. For example, a reinforcer tends to increase a behavior, while a punisher decreases a behavior. ABA Therapy uses these evidenced-based principles to improve behaviors and acquire new skills. A behavior therapist observes and analyzes the behaviors of an individual and examines how those behaviors are influenced by their environment. Information (data) collected on the behaviors helps identify functional relationships between the behavior and the desired outcome. This information includes details on what is happening in the immediate environment directly before and directly after a behavior occurs. Systematically, therapists design and implement procedures to modify behaviors based on information gathered about the functional relationships. Methods can be considered effective if data demonstrate a desired behavior change, including acquisition of new skills.
ABA programs are designed based on individual needs and long-term goals. They are customized according to these goals. Therapy can take place in a variety of settings including the home, school, community, or virtually. Parents, siblings, teachers, peers, and other caregivers will be included in sessions and trained on the programs so that they learn and carry out the programs when the ABA therapist is present. Ultimately, the ABA services are faded as the client achieves goals and learned skills are generalized.