Seven Facts About Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy


ABA, or Applied Behavior Analysis, is a therapeutic treatment offered to young people who suffer from autism and exhibit unwanted behaviors. Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy uses positive reinforcement to combat unwanted behavior. The concept behind the approach is that by using a system of rewards and consequences, positive and desired behavior can be developed and unwanted behavior can be uprooted. During Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy, a therapist will identify goals that the patient needs to develop and achieve in order to improve their behavior and improve themselves. The therapist will map the young person’s progress throughout treatment to establish how they have developed.

Photo, Jordan Whitt.

ABA is the most commonly used therapeutic treatment for children with autism and it is considered the most established and successful approach due to the extensive research that has gone into it, as well as its high success rate. In this article, let’s take a look at six facts about ABA that you might not know or have not heard of in the past. If your child has autism, by the end of this article you will be convinced that Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy is a viable option for them.

ABA: How does it work? Before we get to our main question, we’ll walk you through how Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy works and what a treatment program looks like. Additionally, we’ve included a few pieces of information to help you learn more about ABA therapy and the benefits it can have. Here is some of that information …

Consultation: There will be an initial consultation with a trained ABA therapist. This consultation is called functional behavior assessment. [FBA]. During this consultation, the therapist will ask questions about the child’s strengths, weaknesses, and abilities, as well as things that he or she may struggle or find difficult. The therapist will spend time with the child, interacting and questioning, making observations about their behavior. It is not uncommon for the therapist to visit the child’s home to observe their behavior in an environment with which they are comfortable.

Planning: After the consultation, the therapist will map their observations and create a formal treatment plan designed to help the child. The plan will be tailored to the child’s needs and treatment goals. The goals of this treatment plan will be to reduce unwanted behaviors, such as tantrums, self-harm, anger, and the plan hopes to improve communication skills. Additionally, the plan will include strategies that teachers, caregivers, and therapist can use with the child to achieve the goals, keeping everyone on the same page with the child.

Seven Facts About Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy

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Types of interventions: The type of ABA intervention that can be used with a child depends entirely on their age, concerns, and other factors. Here are some of these interventions:

Seven Facts About Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy

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– TNT [Discrete Trial Training] teaches skills through completing tasks and rewards, for example, completing a puzzle;

– EIBI [Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention] is used with children under the age of five. This is a very intensive program designed to teach the child communication skills, social interaction and skills to help them function in a social and educational environment;

– PRT [Pivotal Response Training] allows your child to take control of their learning. The therapist will however have some control and will advise choices based on skills;

– EDSM [Early Start Denver Model] incorporates playful and fun activities that teach several things at the same time;

– VBI [Verbal Behaviour Interventions] are designed to help children find their voice and become more verbal.

Parent trainer: ABA does not rely only on the therapists, but also on the parents of the child. Parents will need to reinforce the desired behavior and attitude outside of therapy sessions; the therapist will teach parents how to do this and teach them strategies to use which will reinforce therapeutic work outside of therapy.

Evaluation: Over time, the child’s therapist will begin to unravel the causes of the behavior in order to help the child improve or change them. The therapist will adapt his approach according to the response and behavior of the child. Throughout the treatment of your child, the therapist will monitor, analyze and evaluate.

Seven Facts About Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy

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With the treatment explained, we now hope to tell you seven facts about Applied Behavior Analysis that you may not have known …

Improvement: According to a study by Lovaas, 1987, up to ninety percent of children who participated in or received applied behavior analysis therapy for up to forty hours per week, significantly improved, with their improvements considered a change of life for the child and the parent of the child.

Seven Facts About Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy

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Long-lasting results: Additionally, up to forty-five percent of Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy cases have shown observable, lasting, and noticeable results. This is why ABA is one of the most recommended treatments for the unwanted behaviors associated with autism.

Real world application: Some critics of Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy suggest that ABA is entirely table-based and that the therapy, while beneficial, does not extend into the real world. As our article has shown, many of the treatments used in ABA are in the real world and are reinforced by caregivers and teachers. During ABA treatment, the child also learns in the real world, which helps him improve and learn desirable behaviors.

Corporal punishment and bribes: When undergoing ABA, a child will never receive bribes or corporal punishment. Neither is conducive to learning good behavior in children, as the former will encourage them to manipulate and lie to receive a bribe, while the latter will anger him and prevent him from applying or participating.

OCD, Personality Disorders and Anxiety: ABA is not only used for children with autism, but also for those with personality disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety. It can also be used for those who have drug addiction issues.

Similarities, we don’t think: In ABA processing, no two programs are the same. ABA creates a tailor-made and unique plan that is suitable for the child, so all ABA therapies will be different.

Based on the data: Because each individual treatment plan is unique, this makes it data-driven therapy; information and facts are compiled about the child and used to help him improve his behavior. This information will be passed between teachers, caregivers and other therapists in the future.

With the help of this, you now know more about ABA and know seven facts. ABA is a great option if your child is exhibiting unwanted behavior and has autism; this page should hopefully have explained why this is for you.


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