Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the application of principles of learning to improve human behavior. Since the inception of its first journal in 1968 (the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis), ABA has become one of the fastest growing areas of applied psychology. Countless comparative investigations such as meta-analyses have found ABA to be the among most effective techniques for changing human behavior, including behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorders.
Applied behavior analysts practice therapy based on a few powerful premises:
1) People learn most of what they do. Examples are beyond countless—reading, writing, speaking, arguing with our parents, or sitting in a chair and thinking happy thoughts, building model airplanes, arguing with our parents. . . .
2) The basic laws by which people learn are well known. Over a century of methodical laboratory experimentation has uncovered an organized set of learning principles that explain the origin of human behavior.
3) These basic laws of learning can account for enormous variations in human behaviors that on the surface appear unrelated. A similar situation exists in the other sciences. For example, Newton's laws of motion can explain yesterday’s weather or why we don’t like the handling of our new car. Likewise, the laws of learning explain how we come to tie our shoelaces with a double knot, use language, or how and when and whether we will sit in a chair and think happy thoughts.
4) All learned behaviors can be changed by the application of learning laws. When people want to change their own or their children's behavior, they are asking for a learning experience. The main variable that determines the efficacy of behavioral therapy is in how it can help the client to learn to do something new. Good therapists are good teachers.
5) Data (numbers) is necessary to document behavior change. Psychologists have known for many years that we are extremely inaccurate at describing the behavior of themselves or others. For example, shortly after a child has finished a five-minute tantrum we think they have been tantrumming the whole week. When we finish our steak dinner with a diet coke, we underestimate the calories we consumed throughout the meal. That is, we tend to overestimate other people's bad behavior and our own good behavior. We also just plain forget things. For these and other reasons, applied behavior analysts are trained to record hard data--numbers--recorded in real time during each therapy session. In this way, we can know for certain whether therapy is having its desired effect or whether we need to change tactics.
Behavior Changes understands and effectively applies these five principles. When you contract with us, your child will receive a data-driven behavior change therapy experience that usually produces substantial results.