What is Applied Behavior Analysis?
ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis:
Applied – This means it is in the client’s setting (not in a research facility) and focuses on socially significant behavior
Behavior – An observable and measurable act
Analysis – This means data is used to determine programming
What Can ABA Teach?
Social skills (e.g. requesting to peers, responding to peer’s requests, parallel play, etc.)
Receptive language (i.e. identifying items, following directions, etc.)
Expressive language (i.e. requesting, labeling items, answering questions, etc.)
Daily living skills (e.g. toothbrushing, dressing, toileting, showering, etc.)
Vocational skills (e.g. grocery shopping, sorting functional items, etc.)
Typical Program Components
Adaptive and self-care skills
Attending and social referencing
Coping and tolerance skills
Language and communication
Play and leisure skills
Self-advocacy and independence
Reduction of interfering or inappropriate behaviors
When analyzing behavior, we look at environmental events before and after the behavior of interest. Manipulations of these events can cause changes in behavior. These environmental events are referred to as:
Antecedents: any environmental event that occurs directly before the target behavior
Consequences: any environment change/event that occurs immediately after the target behavior
When we analyze behavior, we are attempting to understand why an individual behaves in a particular way. We want to identify environmental variables that trigger instances of behavior and other environmental variables that influence the likelihood of the behavior being repeated in the future – so we look at environmental events before and after the behavior of interest.
Manipulations of environmental events that trigger behaviors can prevent the behavior from occurring in the first place, and manipulations of the environmental events just after a behavior can influence how likely the behavior is to be repeated in the future. Our manipulation of these identified environmental events are how we produce behavior change.
Why do we analyze behavior? In order to increase or decrease a behavior we have to determine the function.
What Do Behavior Analysts Do?
Is either a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) or a BCaBA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst)
Oversee all clinical aspects of patient’s therapy
Create and modify patient’s program
Observe patient with their technician(s) on a regular basis
Develop Behavior Intervention Plans
Complete insurance authorizations for services
Update assessments every 6 months
Meet with the parents/family monthly
Provide parent training and home consultations as needed
Collaborate with family and other providers
Supervise the behavior technicians and provide ongoing training
What Do Behavior Technicians Do?
Provide individualized one-on-one therapy with your child
Train and support patients to help them acquire and develop new skills
Implement Behavior Intervention Plans developed by Program Coordinator
Collect data on program goals via Catalyst
Communicate and collaborate with therapy team on patient progress
Receive on the job training and continuous training on individual programming
Receive First Aid and CPR training
Complete training to become a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)
What Can You Do?
Minimize downtime and distractions
Follow a schedule
Offer frequent choices
Modify the environment
Provide specific praise statements
Start with something easy
Allow time to explore without expectations
Pay attention to your child’s cues
Remain calm and confident
Praise improvements in behavior