Applied Behavioural Analysis
Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) is a specialised area within the field of Psychology. The goal of ABA is to apply specific psychological principles (e.g. reinforcement, prompting, generalisation, etc.) to issues that are socially important (like autism) to produce meaningful change.
In an ABA program, lessons to be taught are broken down into their simplest elements. ABA focuses on teaching small, measurable units of behaviour systematically. At first, the child may be rewarded for doing something close to the desired response. Over time, as the child masters the lesson, expectations are raised and primary reinforcers (like bits of food) are replaced with social reinforcers (hugs, praise, etc.). As the child masters the skill and generalises it, it becomes self-reinforcing.
ABA focuses on increasing appropriate behaviours and celebrating successes and minimizing attention and energy wasted on inappropriate behaviours. Creating a positive and fun learning environment facilitates the learning process in all domains including social, play, and language. In this way simple responses are built systematically into complex and fluid combinations of typical, age-appropriate responses.
Here at Broadmeadow we use a range of techniques based on ABA principles, in order to teach specific skills and to reward positive responses.