Applied Behaviour Analysis

Applied Behaviour Analysis

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) considers all people unique. It is the design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental contexts to produce socially significant improvement for any individual.

It includes the use of direct observation, measurement, and analysis of the relations between environment and behaviour. It uses the analysis of the environment  to produce practical change for the individual.

It is based on the belief that an individuals behavior is determined by past and current environmental events in conjunction with organic variables (i.e. genetics). It focuses on explaining behavior in terms of external events that can be manipulated rather than internal constructs that are beyond our control.

Over the past 30 years, several thousand published research studies have documented the effectiveness of ABA across a wide range of:

  • populations (children and adults with mental illness, developmental disabilities and learning disabilities)
  • interventionists (parents, teachers and staff)
  • settings (schools, homes, institutions, group homes, hospitals and business offices), and
  • behaviors (language; social, academic, leisure and functional life skills; aggression, self-injury, oppositional and stereotyped behaviours)

It is the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors to a meaningful degree, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement in behavior (Baer, Wolf & Risley, 1968; Sulzer-Azaroff & Mayer, 1991). “Socially significant behaviors” include reading, academics, social skills, communication, and adaptive living skills.Adaptive living skills include gross and fine motor skills, eating and food preparation, toileting, dressing, personal self-care, domestic skills, time and punctuality, money and value, home and community orientation, and work skills.

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