Applied Behavior Analysis


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a science. It is a way of looking at behavior and recognizing that it functions in some way in the environment. Every day, as we go through our daily interactions, we are testing our behaviors against others, looking for and calculating the response. If it works, we do it again. If it doesn't work, we don't do it again. We can take this basic "law" of behavior and apply it to many areas: academics, leisure skills, social conversation, parenting, corporate organization, daily living skills--many domains, many environments, many individuals. It provides tools to be able to examine situations and deduct why certain behaviors may be happening and how we can get behaviors to increase or decrease. It is NOT just a treatment for children with autism. It happens that the tools provided by the science are very critical to the success of individuals with autism--but they are not exclusively for individuals with autism. A collection of tools in any typical toolbox might be broken down to its individual components and singled out for a particular purpose. A screw driver, to loosen and tighten screws. A hammer to drive nails. A saw to cut wood. And so on. But taken collectively as a whole, what those tools can accomplish is limited only by the imagination. Applied Behavior Analysis is a collection of tools whose use can be fitted to renovate behavior of any kind--from attention difficulties to socialization to aggression.