Applied Behaviour Analysis
The overall goal of teaching based on Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is to work with each individual to develop skills that will enable them to be as independent and successful as possible. As a person centred approach, ABA based intervention always begins at the level of the individual and as such works to establish a personalised and individualised approach to curriculum planning in order to address key skill areas, including (but not limited to) communication, leisure, social, academic and daily living skills. Skills are prioritised that will increase the quality of life for the individual and involves functional communication that may incorporate other augmentative systems to facilitate effective communication (e.g. vocal, PECS or sign). Generalisation is promoted from the start to ensure skills can be used across all environments.
ABA uses key behavioural principles and breaks down learning into smaller component skills to teach as a developmental sequence (e.g. from simple to more complex skills). Targets and intervention procedures are clearly defined to aid consistent teaching and learning progress is recorded on each target ensuring decisions are based on data, and progress towards targets can be easily assessed. ABA is personalised according to the needs and strengths of the individual and adapted to how that individual responds.
An ABA-based intervention can take place within any environment and appropriate education setting. A large number of studies investigating the benefits of ABA-based principles have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Please see the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (www.bacb.com) for information on credentialing for behaviour analysts.