Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a science in which the principles of behavior are applied to improve and understand behaviors that are socially significant – important to an individual, the family, and the community. ABA uses research based and empirically validated methods to identify specific variables responsible for the improvement of behaviors. ABA is concerned with optimizing learning through motivating operations and reinforcement and seeks to make improvements to behavior that are meaningful and functional for the individual. Through the process of establishing effective motivators, shaping, fading, and utilizing reinforcement, ABA practitioners are able to not only successfully educate children and adults on the spectrum, but also build meaningful relationships.
The method is broadly defined as a way to increase appropriate, pro-social behaviors and decrease interfering behaviors, such as aggression.
ABA encompasses a variety of specialized approaches including Verbal Behavior and The Lovaas Method.
ABA is proven to be effective in teaching basic developmental skills, improving social skills, increasing communication, and decreasing problem behaviors.