Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) was defined by Baer, Wolf & Risley (1968) as “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.”
ABA is an empirically validated, long-standing method for changing human behavior. Behavior analysts utilize the principles of ABA to teach a variety of skills and to reduce unwanted behaviors. Through assessment, behavior analysts identify the environmental variables contributing to a behavioral deficit or excess. Behavior analysts then develop treatments that change these environmental variables to support socially acceptable levels of the behavior. Behavior analysts rely on the objective measurement of behavior and the acceptability of procedures to inform treatment decisions.
To learn more about ABA, its efficacy in the treatment of ASDs, and the work of behavior analysts with people with autism, click on the links below
Wilczynski, S., Green, G., Ricciardi, J., Boyd, B., Hume, A., Ladd, M., Ladd, M., Odom, S., and Rue, H. (2009). National Standards Report: The national standards project— addressing the need for evidence- based practice guidelines for autism spectrum disorders. The National Autism Center.