What Is ABA?
According to Cooper, Heron, and Heward (2007), "Applied behavior analysts focus on objectively defined behaviors of social significance; they intervene to improve the behaviors under study while demonstrating a reliable relationship between their interventions and the behavioral improvements; and they use the methods of scientific inquiry--objective description, quantification, and controlled experimentation. In short, applied behavior analysis, or ABA, is a scientific approach for discovering environmental variables that reliably influence socially significant behavior and for developing a technology of behavior change that takes practical advantage of those discoveries." (p. 3)
Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (2nd ed.). S.l.: PEARSON.
Applied Areas of ABA
Independent Living Skills
- Toilet Training
- Self-Feeding and Food Refusal
- Dressing and Shoe Tying
- Hygiene (Bathing, brushing teeth, washing hands, etc)
- Cleaning up After Self
- Household Chores
- And More!
- Receptive Language
- Expressive Language
- Reciprocal Communication (conversation skills)
- Conversation Initiation
- Remaining On-Topic
- And More!
- Parallel Play
- Interactive Play
- Imaginative Play
- Participating in Groups
- And More!
- Task-Refusal to Non-Preferred Activities
- Self-Injurious Behavior
- Property Destruction
- Vocal Stereotypy and Echolalia (Repetitive Speech)
- And More!
Meta-Analyses for ABA
A meta-analysis is a research study that collects data from a large body of literature and complies all that data into a single data set. This is the most effective way to summarize large bodies of research.
1) Applied behavior analytic intervention for autism in early childhood: meta-analysis, meta-regression and dose-response meta-analysis of multiple outcomes.
"Results suggested that long-term, comprehensive ABA intervention leads to (positive) medium to large effects in terms of intellectual functioning, language development, acquisition of daily living skills and social functioning in children with autism."
Virués-Ortega, J. (2010). Applied behavior analytic intervention for autism in early childhood: Meta-analysis, meta-regression and dose–response meta-analysis of multiple outcomes [Abstract]. Clinical Psychology Review,30(4), 387-399. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2010.01.008
2) Overview of meta-analyses on early intensive behavioral intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorders.
"Four of five meta-analyses concluded EIBI was an effective intervention strategy for many children with ASDs."
Reichow, B. (2011). Overview of Meta-Analyses on Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders [Abstract]. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders,42(4), 512-520. doi:10.1007/s10803-011-1218-9
3) A meta-analytic study on the effectiveness of comprehensive ABA-based early intervention programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
"The purpose of this meta-analysis was to investigate the effectiveness of EIBI based on applied behavior analysis in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders(ASD). There were 11 studies with 344 children with ASD. Quality of studies was assessed using the Downs and Black Checklist. Experimental groups who received EIBI outperformed the control groups on IQ, non-verbal IQ, expressive and receptive language and adaptive behavior."
Peters-Scheffer, N., Didden, R., Korzilius, H., & Sturmey, P. (2011). A meta-analytic study on the effectiveness of comprehensive ABA-based early intervention programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders [Abstract]. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders,5(1), 60-69. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2010.03.011