Applied Behavioral Analysis

We use ABA to reduce problem behaviors and develop new adaptive skills.

We use ABA to modify an individual’s behavior. It is a structured intervention based on behavioral operant conditioning principles.  It is used to reduce problem behaviors and increase skill development.  It attends to the antecedents and consequences that maintain a behavior and through a functional analysis determines the functions of a particular behavior and the consequences that follow which ultimately maintain it.  This process allows for environmental changes to occur before the behavior (called antecedent strategies) and the specific application of positive and negative consequences (such as reinforcement systems and response costs) to increase a new skill and/or decrease a problem behavior.  It is a systematic intervention delivered by trained, experienced provider  to  the child and caregiver.  It is most typically used within a parent-training model.  The number of sessions required for effectiveness varies widely depending on the number of behaviors to reduce and the number of new skills to develop.  It is important to note that a behavior problem will increase during the process of using ABA treatment before it decreases or is eliminated.  This intervention is most effective when there is attention to consistency and intensity of methods and a focus on the individual’s engagement and motivation.  We incorporate the motivational strategies of Pivotal Response Training (one type of ABA treatment) into each treatment session. The following types of behaviours and skills are examples of those addressed in ABA:

Problem Behavior Reduction

-Aggressive behaviors- hitting, kicking, biting, scratching, pinching, spitting

-Yelling, cursing, screaming

-Tantrumming-throwing self on floor, crying

-Refusing to complete tasks

-Non-completion of daily living tasks


-Self- injurious (head banging, self-hitting, hair pulling)

-Non-responding to questions


New Skill Development

-Communication-word/phrase speech, requesting, stating

-Play skills

-Social communication- question asking, commenting, complimenting


-Hygiene- daily living

-Following directives/instruction

-Task completion- homework, chores, responsibilities

-On-task behaviours