Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior.
Behavior analysis helps us to understand:
- How behavior works
- How behavior is affected by the environment
- How learning takes place
Behaviour Therapy uses principles and techniques of Applied Analysis (ABA) to increase a child’s skills repertoire and promote positive behaviours. Behaviour Therapy also decreases a wide-range of challenging behaviours that limit participation in daily activities and/or interaction with others. Individualized programs work on skills such as:
- Following directions
- Independent play
- Daily living skills
- Social skills
Applied Behavior Analysis involves many techniques for understanding and changing behavior. ABA is a flexible treatment:
- Can be adapted to meet the needs of each unique person
- Provided in many different locations – at home, at school, and in the community
- Teaches skills that are useful in everyday life
- Can involve one-to-one teaching or group instruction
Positive reinforcement is one of the main strategies used in ABA.
When a behavior is followed by something that is valued (a reward), a person is more likely to repeat that behavior. Over time, this encourages positive behavior change.
First, the therapist identifies a goal behavior. Each time the person uses the behavior or skill successfully, they get a reward. The reward is meaningful to the individual – examples include praise, a toy or book, watching a video, access to playground or other location, and more.
Positive rewards encourage the person to continue using the skill. Over time this leads to meaningful behavior change.
Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence
Understanding antecedents (what happens before a behavior occurs) and consequences (what happens after the behavior) is another important part of any ABA program.
The following three steps – the “A-B-Cs” – help us teach and understand behavior:
- An antecedent: this is what occurs right before the target behavior. It can be verbal, such as a command or request. It can also be physical, such a toy or object, or a light, sound, or something else in the environment. An antecedent may come from the environment, from another person, or be internal (such as a thought or feeling).
- A resulting behavior: this is the person’s response or lack of response to the antecedent. It can be an action, a verbal response, or something else.
- A consequence: this is what comes directly after the behavior. It can include positive reinforcement of the desired behavior, or no reaction for incorrect/inappropriate responses.
Looking at A-B-Cs helps us understand:
- Why a behavior may be happening
- How different consequences could affect whether the behavior is likely to happen again
- Antecedent: The teacher says “It’s time to clean up your toys” at the end of the day.
- Behavior: The student yells “no!”
- Consequence: The teacher removes the toys and says “Okay, toys are all done.”
How could ABA help the student learn a more appropriate behavior in this situation?
- Antecedent: The teacher says “time to clean up” at the end of the day.
- Behavior: The student is reminded to ask, “Can I have 5 more minutes?”
- Consequence: The teacher says, “Of course you can have 5 more minutes!”
With continued practice, the student will be able to replace the inappropriate behavior with one that is more helpful. This is an easier way for the student to satisfy the child’s needs!
What Does an ABA Program Involve
The goal of any ABA program is to help each person work on skills that will help them become more independent and successful in the short term as well as in the future.
Our ABA planning and ongoing assessment
We begin with a detailed observation and assessment of your child’s skills, preferences, challenges, and skill needs. During treatment, therapists continue to assess, monitor and review progress. This ongoing assessment makes sure that your child is developing at the right pace and learning the skills they need most appropriately.
Our team provides 1:1 or group sessions to toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children. We support children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder, and / or developmental disabilities. we also provides behavioural support and training to caregivers.