Applied Behavior Analysis is a method of teaching based on the premise that speech, academics and life skills can be taught using scientific principles.
ABA is based on the 20th-century work of B.F. Skinner. In 1938, Skinner publishedThe Behavior of Organisms, which described the process of learning through the consequences of behavior. Later applications of his approach to education and socially significant behavior led to what we now call Applied Behavior Analysis.
ABA rewards, or reinforces, appropriate behaviors and responses because children are less likely to continue those behaviors that are not rewarded. Over time, the reinforcement is reduced so that the child can learn without the constant rewards.
Research shows that children with autism respond to ABA intervention. Skills are disassembled into their smallest components, so that the children learn to master simple skills, then build toward more complicated skills.
Skinner’s 1957 book, Verbal Behavior, focused on the functional analysis of verbal behavior, and led to significant research by Applied Behavior Analysts, including Dr. Jim Partington. This research can be found in the journal, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and serves as the foundation for teaching Verbal Behavior as part of an ABA program.
Applied Verbal Behavior, then, is ABA with a focus on Verbal Behavior, and the application of ABA in teaching verbal behaviors.
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