Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) focuses on refining certain behaviors and skills such as communication and vocational competencies. ABA is a research focused approach to therapy that uses learning and behavior theories as a framework. Therapists working from this context seek to understand how human behaviors are learned and modified. The therapist begins by assessing the client's current behaviors and identifying which behaviors need to be changed. Goals and outcomes are established as well as measurements used to assess change. The therapist evaluates the client's current baseline behavior and then attempts to facilitate techniques and intervention which may include skill development and methods of avoiding the unhealthy behavior. The therapist continually evaluates the client's progress after the intervention to see if more behavior modification is required. ABA was initially used to treat people with intellectual disabilities and autism. Through further research it is now shown to be effective in substance abuse treatment, brain injury rehabilitation, and many other areas.

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