ABA speech therapy
Applied Behavior Analysis is the scientific study of behavior.
ABA methods are used to support persons with autism in at least six ways:
to increase behaviors (eg reinforcement procedures increase on-task behavior, or social interactions);
to teach new skills (eg, systematic instruction and reinforcement procedures teach functional life skills, communication skills, or social skills);
to maintain behaviors (eg, teaching self control and self-monitoring procedures to maintain and generalize job-related social skills);
to generalize or to transfer behavior from one situation or response to another (eg, from completing assignments in the resource room to performing as well in the mainstream classroom);
to restrict or narrow conditions under which interfering behaviors occur (eg, modifying the learning environment); and
to reduce interfering behaviors (eg, self injury or stereotype).
ABA focuses on the reliable measurement and objective evaluation of observable behavior. Reliable measurement requires that behaviors are defined objectively. Vague terms such as anger, depression, aggression or tantrums are redefined in observable and quantifiable terms, so their frequency, duration or other measurable properties can be directly recorded.
Treatment approaches grounded in ABA are now considered to be at the forefront of therapeutic and educational interventions for children with autism. The large amount of scientific evidence supporting ABA treatments for children with autism have led a number of other independent bodies to endorse the effectiveness of ABA, including the U.S. Surgeon General, the New York State Department of Health, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.