Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis ABA

What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

ABA is the science of behavior.

ABA studies how people learn, how they behave, how they change their behavior.

ABA is the hard branch of psychology that aims to help people solve problems on the basis of behavior measurements and evidence-based practices, without getting lost in words, abstract concepts or foggy theories that miss practical applications.

Did you know that ABA is not something new?

Its origin can be found in John B. Watson’s 1913 article “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It”, widely known as the “Behaviorist Manifesto”. According to Watson,

“…psychology should be placed on the same level as biology. The objects of study of psychology must be measurable and verifiable facts. Psychology should indicate the way in which the individual can be modeled, or pushed to assume new habits, to adapt to the environment.”

What can ABA do?

This technology can solve your problems.

We are talking about a technology that can improve your life at the same level as medicine.

With ABA you can change a person’s behavior, whatever it is, through systematic modification of environmental stimuli.

This is a fact.

When we consider facts about people’s behavior, we discover that there are physical stimuli present in the environment (i.e. things people see, hear, touch, smell, etc.) which have the power to maintain, eliminate or gradually shape new behaviours.

Scientific studies of human behavior have brought to the attention of psychologists that human behavior can be forecast, and even controlled, through modification of environmental stimuli.

These stimuli of course involve other people’s behaviors, too (one person receives stimuli that are the product of other people’s behaviors).

As B.F. Skinner, professor of psychology at Harvard University, once said:

“The methods of science have been enormously successful wherever they have been tried. Let us then apply them to human affairs.” (Skinner, 1953).

How does ABA work?

ABA changes people’s lives changing the environment around them.

ABA works modifying what happens around your child, guiding him to do better behavioral choices.

It requires a lot of effort and rigor. You must follow precise directions. You must take data on your child’s behavior.

…but, you will see the results, you will see your child changing day by day, learning new things and eliminating challenging behaviors.

Are you ready to start your ABA intervention?

It is just training, it is LEARNING, it is science!

You can learn, too, what you need to solve that unpleasant situation. We can provide you with the correct strategies, based on more than 100 years of scientific studies, to change your future and the future of the people you love.

What about ABA for people with autism?

There are no other valid scientific treatments.

As we have seen, ABA is not just a method for autism, but a real science that studies human behavior: the laws according to which we all behave.

It is no coincidence, however, that ABA has become known as the most effective intervention to help people with autism.

This claim is not based on opinions, but on scientific research and data.

Did you know that from the 1960s to 2008, over 1.000 different scientific studies have proved the effectiveness of ABA in case of autism (Foxx, 2008)?

And the number keeps growing.

ABA is the only recognized treatment for children with autism (Foxx, 2008).

Metz and colleagues (2005) and Newsom & Hovanitz (2005), say that no other treatment for autism has so far come close to the evidence of effectiveness that ABA has provided and there are no other valid scientific treatments that produce similar results.

After attending dozens of scientific conferences and continuing education events around the world, we can say that this phrase is true even today. Without any doubt.

Effectiveness of early interventions

Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention

Early and Intensive Behavioral Intervention models (EIBI) are known to be able to successfully change nuclear deficits shown by people with autism.

What does the effectiveness of EIBI intervention depend on?

The intervention is more effective when:

  • it is an early intervention. The sooner you start, the better! In EIBI interventions, children start ABA before the age of 5.
  • it is intensive. The child should attend the intervention for at least 15 hours per week. 15 to 40 hours per week are recommended. A general guideline in the field, might be ‘the more hours you do, the more results you will have’.
  • the staff are more than adequately trained in ABA. Data collection is a necessary condition to define an intervention as based on ABA.
  • the child’s entire living environment, including parents, is involved in the intervention as much as possible.

ABA for other behavioral interventions

Some areas were ABA is successfully applied:

  • Autism – Sallows and Graupner, 2005; Stanislaw, Howard, & Martin, 2020; Frazier et al., 2021.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) – Delay et. al, 2014; Pelham et al., 2014; Coles et al., 2020.
  • Intellectual disability – Ho, Perry & Koudys, 2020.
  • Down Syndrome – Neil, Amicarelli, Anderson & Liesemer, 2021.
  • Feeding problems and Food Selectivity – Tereshko, Leaf, Weiss, Rich, & Pistorino, 2021; Silbaugh et al., 2016; Williams, Field & Seiverling, 2010.
  • Aggressiveness, non-compliance, temper tantrums and others problematic behaviours – McCart, Priester, Davies, & Azen, 2006.
  • Sleeping problems – Mindell, Kuhn, Lewin, Meltzer, & Sadeh, 2006; Wiggs & France, 2000.
  • Brain Injury Rehabilitation – Heinicke & Carr, 2014.
  • Behavioural treatment of substance use disorders – Dakwar & Nunes, 2016; Higgins, Silverman, & Heil 2008; Madden, 2008.
  • Health, sport, and fitness – Normand & Burji, 2020; Quintero et al., 2020; Schenk & Miltenberger, 2019; Slowiak, 2021.
  • Education – Moran & Malott, 2004; Ramey, et al., 2016; Vargas, 2020.
  • Organisational behavior management (OBM) – Gravina et al., 2018; Wilder, Austin & Casella, 2009.

Do you want to know more about ABA?

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ebook Applied Behavior Anaysis in a nutshell