Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a science that uses basic principles of behavior to bring about meaningful change to behavior. Changes made to the environment surrounding an individual can increase the individual’s behavior that is appropriate or decrease the behavior that is inappropriate. Data is collected to visualize the success of behavior change.

Many skills can be taught using ABA including very easy tasks such as sitting, listening, imitating or responding behavior. More difficult skills can also be taught using ABA such as reading comprehension, social skills like engaging in reciprocal conversations, toilet training, appropriate eating skills, and play skills.

Using ABA techniques, the reason for problem or inappropriate behavior can be determined, and then an intervention put in place to decrease or end the problem behavior.

Teaching using ABA techniques involves breaking tasks involved into individual steps, and adding steps as tasks are mastered. ABA starts by assuring foundational skills are already learned, and if not they are taught. Some of these foundational skills include having a communication method (i.e. picture cards, signing, verbal language), expressing needs and wants, expressing and managing behaviors, sharing experience (joint attention), attending to a person or persons, and social engagement.

At Behavior Analysts of West Michigan center for autism, our focus is solely in ABA therapy and using the guiding principles that are evidence-based and medically recommended for children with autism.