What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

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What is Applied Behavioral Analysis?

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is an evidence based practice which uses the science of learning and behavior to increase useful and desired behaviors in our children. ABA is used to improve language, communication, and social skills. At AIM Clinics, our goal is to improve attention, focus, social skills and other desirable behavioral attributes through ABA therapy.

The technique used in ABA therapy is called “positive reinforcement.” Most simply, when a desired behavior is rewarded, it is more likely to be repeated. This positive reinforcement is easily measured, and can be used to continuously improve therapy. At AIM Clinics, we use the positive reinforcement technique to help our children learn and acquire new skills to improve behavior.

For more information on Applied Behavioral Analysis you can visit the Autism Speaks website. Autism Speaks now has a toolkit to help parents understand ABA therapy. Check it out to learn more!

Scientific Evidence for Applied Behavioral Analysis

According to the American Psychological Association, Applied Behavioral Analysis is considered an evidence-based best practice for autism.

There have been many studies on the effectiveness of ABA and the consensus of the scientific community is that it is effective for improving language, cognitive abilities, adaptive behavior, social skills and reducing anxiety and aggression. 

Clinical psychology researchers at Vanderbilt University in partnership with the Autism Speaks Treatment Network have said “We are finding more solid evidence, based on higher quality studies, that these early intensive behavioral interventions can be effective for young children on the autism spectrum, especially related to their cognitive and language skills.”

The Autism Speaks Senior Vice President for Medical Research has said that the studies conducted by Vanderbilt University and others show that “Kids with autism clearly benefit from these behavioral interventions, and we need to make sure that they’re provided.” At AIM Clinics, we pride ourselves in providing ABA and continuing to improve the lives of our children and families.

At AIM Clinics we have reviewed and can provide additional studies conducted that show the effectiveness of Applied Behavioral Analysis.

Cohen, H., Amerine-Dickens, M. and Smith, T. (2006) compared 21 children with ASD who received 35-40 hours of ABA per week to a control group of 21 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who received only in public school special education classes. Their work found that:

  • The group of children receiving ABA showed significantly higher IQ and adaptive behavior scores than the control group.

  • 17 out of the 21 children receiving ABA were included in regular education after 3 years; while only 1 out of the 21 children in the control group was included in regular education after three years.

Click here to read the entire study.

Who Provides Applied Behavioral Analysis?

At AIM Clinics, we follow the standard practice of having Board Certified Behavioral Analysts (BCBAs) oversee all ABA services to our children. Our BCBAs are credentialed by the internationally recognized Behavior Analyst Certification Board and have earned at least a Master’s degree. While ABA services are provided under the direction of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), Registered Behavioral Technicians (RBTs) will spend the most direct time with your child. AIM Clinics’s highly trained RBTs are all credentialed and are committed to providing our clients with the highest level of treatment. Credentials for our RBTs include a high school diploma, additional completion of required coursework and RBT credentialing.

More information about BCBAs and their credentials and more can be found here.

Where is Applied Behavioral Analysis Provided?

At AIM Clinics, ABA is provided in both the clinical and home settings. Clinic-based services allow for children to receive treatment in an environment that is optimized for learning. In addition, therapy in the clinic allows for increased social opportunities, as well as expanding skills to be applied outside of his or her typical environment.

If clinical services do not meet our clients’ needs, AIM Clinics does offer home-based services. Our experienced Behavior Technicians will travel to your home and provide 1-on-1 therapy to support your child.

Both settings have been proven by evidence-based studies to be effective for children diagnosed with ASD. In fact, Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center found that in-home therapy has a significant impact on the child’s parents due to a reduction in parental stress and parental depression.

Whatever the case or the setting, AIM Clinics is here to help.