Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy, otherwise known as ABA therapy, is based on the study and understanding of behaviors. It is the only scientifically validated and extensively researched intervention method proven effective in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Additionally, ABA therapy is also commonly used in the treatment of other conditions such as traumatic brain injury and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. While ABA therapy has been widely cited as the treatment of choice for Autism, adherence to these practises may not ensure a successful outcome in every case.
How does ABA therapy work?
ABA therapy is used in the teaching of new skills. It is also used to promote socially desirable behaviors and reduce undesirable ones. When teaching new skills, the skills are often time broken down and taught in smaller steps, one at a time, until the ultimate goal is achieved. Each step is positively reinforced along the way to encourage learning. Examples of skills that are often taught using ABA include:
- Social and Communication Skills
- Language Skills
- Motor Skills
- Imitation Skills
- Self-help Skills
- Cognitive Skills
- Play Skills
When managing behaviors, ABA seeks to understand the function of behaviors prior to determining the appropriate intervention. This is often achieved through a functional analysis of the behavior or through the collection of Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence (ABC) data. Further analysis of the ABC data can help to determine the function of the behavior, from which an appropriate intervention may be designed.
An antecedent is what happens right before the behavior. It may come from another person, internal (such as a thought or feeling) and external environmental event. It can be both verbal and physical, such as a request, command, toy, object or sound.
The resulting behavior is the response or lack of response to the antecedent. It can be a verbal response or action.
A consequence is what follows after the behavior. It can include positive behavior or negative reaction.
Generally, desired behaviors are reinforced to increase the likelihood of future occurrence and undesirable behaviors are put on extinction to decrease likelihood of future occurrence.
If you wish to find out more about the ABA therapy program here at Lazarus Centre, please contact us at +65 9176 4837.