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Behavioral model: ABA

A behavioral approach involves Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) under the science of behavioral research.

Early research: Pavlov, Watson, Skinner, Bandura, Baer, Wolf, Risley
More recent research: Koegel, Horner, Smith, Sundberg, Krantz

Current applications include Skinner’s Verbal Behavior, Lovaas Discrete Trial Training/LIFE, Koegel/Schreibman Pivotal Response Training, and Lindsley/Binder Precision Teaching.

Goals of ABA: to teach child to fit into society by an approach of shaping social and verbal behaviors with the use of reinforcers.

Assessment: ABA utilizes a high degree of assessment and curriculum through various methods including Discrete Trial Data, probes (taking data the next day to see if the skill has been learned), the ABLLS assessment tool, standardized tests, and curriculum based on basic developmental skills.

ABA often includes:
• Breaking down tasks/language into smaller parts and teaching each part
• Evaluating whether there are changes and if attributed to the applied teaching procedure
• Generalizing skills so that the skills are durable over time, place, and transfers to other behaviors
• Using prompts and prompt fading
• Errorless teaching
• Establishing reinforcers – (EO)
• Direct Instruction curriculum by SRA
• One-to-one or small group teaching
• Working at the table for early learner skills and Natural Environment Teaching (NET) for generalization and skills taught more effectively in a non-table environment

ABA Resources and Contacts:
• POAC of Oregon (
• Behavior Analyst Certification Board (
• Association for Behavior Analysts (
• Book: Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism: A Manual for Parents and Professionals by C. Maurice, G. Green, S.C. Luce (ed)
• Book: A Work in Progress by R. Leaf & J. McEachin
• Book: Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities by M. Sundberg & J. Partington