Applied Behavior Analysis International describes behavior analysis as follows:
"Behavior analysis is the scientific study of behavior. Behavior analysts ask "Why does behavior change over time?" They seek answers by looking at the biological and environmental factors, although they are primarily interested in the role of environment in behavior change. Many behavior analysts do either basic or applied research. Others specialize in applying behavior change principles to enhancing quality of life."
Essentially, applied behavior analysis is the science of understanding behavior and the impact of the physical or social environment on behavior.
Applied Behavior Analysis is often referred to simply and briefly as "ABA." This is where the ABA in our name ABA Solutions comes from. You may have heard people referring to Applied Behavior Analysis as “applied behavioral analysis,” though the correct term is the former.
Applied Behavior Therapy is the practical therapy conducted by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Before therapy commences, a behavior therapist seeks to understand the learning or emotional challenges, or environment triggers, that underlie the frustration that leads to a problem behavior. Based on their observations during skills assessments, a behavior therapist will create a behavior plan. A behavior plan contains thoughtfully chosen, established procedures for teaching new skills that seek to reduce problematic behaviors and strengthen desired behaviors. Therapists use a variety of current, research-supported approaches to build verbal and adaptive skills. Additionally, behavior analysts train caregivers on how to respond to everyday learning, emotional and behavior challenges, and how to reinforce skills developed during therapy sessions.
Our first step is to understand the learning, social, or emotional challenges that might underlie a problem behavior. We will ask you to help us collect data on the behaviors you are concerned about. To build a solid understanding of an individual situation, we will gather information through questionnaires, friendly interviews, and assessments in the environments that behaviors occur.
Behavior analysts observe an individual in their daily environments, to assess skills and any behavior patterns. Data will be collected during observations.
Based on the information gleamed from interviews and observations, your behavior analyst will devise a behavior plan that addresses behaviors and skills. All methods applied by the behavior analyst are based on the principles and procedures developed by applied behavior analysis research and application.
We will conduct interviews with parents and/or caregivers to gain a full understanding of the individual engaging in therapy, and his/her overall experience.
Applied behavior analysis can be a very effective way to help children of all ages experiencing a wide variety of problem behaviors. Its established and field-tested methods allow for assessments that develop a clear understanding of why behaviors occur and what the environment triggers and reinforcements are that support those behaviors. Using the science and study of behavior and behavior change, a behavior analyst is trained to create behavior plans that address problem behaviors. Therapy based on behavior plans relevant to the environment and that are designed with the individual in mind lead to meaningful and measureable goals that improve the lives of both the child and his/her family.
ABA principles can help any behavior – providing everyday support for small hurdles to intensive therapy for frequent, chronic problem behaviors. ABA can reduce problem behaviors such as, but not limited to, running away, hurting others by throwing objects, biting, or kicking, self-regulation issues, refusing to speak or severe behavior that restricts everyday living. The duration and intensity of therapy required depends on individual factors; data accumulated during assessments and the consideration of goals help behavior analysts assess what structure to apply to behavior plans that address problem behaviors.
Applied behavior analysis has been helping children with autism spectrum disorder and related developmental disorders since the 1960s. Applying the principles and methods of applied behavior analysis, a behavior therapist will work with a child or adult with autism to address socially significant behaviors -- for example: communication and social skills, toileting, dressing, domestic and work skills, and play skills.
Applying decades of research, analysts have a toolbox of techniques to help teach useful skills to child and adult learners with autism. Methods include teaching skills in the natural environment, modeling, using task-based schedules and reinforcement, teaching a child how to respond to social bids from others, and modifying environmental situations. Therapy is often conducted one-to-one or in a low analyst-to-client ratio setting. Therapy options can be intensive—more than 25 hours a week for a period of 1-3 years—or planned according to a less intensive schedule in which therapy can meet its goals. Early intervention therapy for children below the age of four is available, as are approaches that suit all ages throughout childhood to adult years.