Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is based on the science of how people learn and can be used to change behaviors. Behavior is anything that we can see a person do – talking, playing, getting dressed, cooking dinner, etc. Behavior change can include learning a new behavior, strengthening a behavior we already do, or decreasing a behavior we want to do less often. One way that ABA can teach or strengthen behaviors is through reinforcement. When someone’s actions are reinforced (something good happens), they are more likely to do the same thing again. For example, if your exercise routine is paying off, you are more likely to keep at it!
ABA uses a systematic approach to applying the principles of learning to help people change their behaviors. It can be used both for increasing socially desirable behaviors (e.g., finishing chores, talking, or playing with a peer), and also for decreasing behaviors that are less desirable (e.g., smoking, tantrums, aggression).
There are many strategies that fall under the ABA umbrella, such as Natural Environment Training, Incidental Teaching, Discrete Trial Instruction, Verbal Behavior, and Pivotal Response Training. At Little Leaves, we will individualize the strategies and approach we use for each child based on his/her needs.