Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy uses positive reinforcement to improve behavior, social, communication, and learning skills. ABA therapy uses behavioral concepts to set goals, reinforce behaviors, and keep track of progress.
This treatment method is often called the “gold standard” for autism. Often used, it effectively improves specific skills and lowers destructive behaviors. Behaviorism, which includes operant training and using rewards and punishments to change behavior, is the basis of ABA therapy. In the 1950s and 1960s, people who worked in mental health started using ideas like token economies to treat problems like schizophrenia and developmental disabilities.
Ivar Lovaas, Ph.D., later changed ABA to help people with autism. His idea was that social and behavioral skills could be taught and that other behaviors could be stopped by using rewards and punishments. Since then, many new ways to help conditions like autism have been made.
Different kinds of ABA therapy
ABA therapy can include a variety of various interventions.
Using discrete trials (DTT) to train
A skill is divided into parts and taught individually in discrete trial training (DTT). Here are the three parts of this method:
The precursor is a thing that makes someone do something. The move (the response to the cause)
Practice in a natural setting
After getting the skills through isolated trial training, people learn and practice them in settings that are more like what they are used to. For example, once a child learns a skill, they can use it at home or school.
ABA Therapy for the Whole Child
This method offers treatments that usually take a few hours each day. At least a few hours are spent with the person each week by a therapist or behavior worker in different places, such as the person’s home and school. The therapist may work directly with the patient and teach parents and other caregivers techniques that can be used outside of ABA therapy meetings.
Therapy that focuses on ABA
This therapy may concentrate on helping a patient through a complicated situation. The person often works with a therapist one-on-one, but they may also hone these abilities in community settings or small groups.
What can be helped by ABA therapy?
ABA therapy can help with some disorders, such as:
- Causes of Anxiety
- ADHD stands for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
- Autism has a wide range of illnesses.2 BPD, or borderline personality disorder, is a problem with how a person was raised.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a mental illness. Sleep problems are a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder. Four diseases that drug use can cause
Things to think about
Since ABA isn’t the only way to treat someone, paying attention to how they respond and what they need to figure out the best way to help them is essential.
Even though ABA is used a lot these days, there are still some problems with it. In the past, this kind of therapy frequently required hours of treatment per day in tight spaces.
Modern methods avoid using punishments and instead focus on giving or withholding reinforcement. Instead of spending hours per day conducting isolated trials while seated at a desk, treatment is frequently provided in natural settings, such as the home, school, and community.