“If a child cannot learn in the way we teach…we must teach in a way the child can learn.”
Dr. Ivar Lovaas
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the scientific application of the principles of learning and motivation to teach new skills such as communication and reduce behavioral excesses. This science applies to all learners, disability or not. ABA looks at the relationship between a behavior and the environment. Understanding this relationship helps us understand why an individual engages in certain behaviors or does not engage in certain behaviors, and how these behaviors can be increased or decreased.
The Surgeon General’s report on Mental Health (1999) states, “Thirty years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and in increasing communication, learning, and appropriate social behavior.”