Applied behavior analysis is the application of the science behind behavior. With decades of peer-reviewed research backing its use, the technology behind ABA has proven very powerful, particularly for individuals on the autism spectrum. Early intensive behavioral intervention is the most comprehensive and effective approach to bettering the lives of those affected by autism spectrum disorders and is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the US Surgeon General, and others. (Howlin, Magiati, and Charman, 2009)
ABA focuses on bringing about socially significant behavior change through carefully programmed therapy sequences. A typical early intervention program begins with establishing rapport with the child and supports a philosophy of, “don’t teach anything until the child is happy to be with you.” Once a strong relationship is built, skilled behavior analysts and technicians begin assuring that the child has the tool skills necessary to learn throughout life (e.g. effective communication, imitation, and instruction following). With a solid foundation to be a “good learner,” therapy becomes more and more tailored to meet the child’s specific needs in all areas of life.