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Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

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Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is defined as, "the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors to a meaningful degree, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement in behavior“ (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968; Sulzer-Azaroff & Mayer, 1991). It employs the principles of Operant conditioning, using both positive and negative reinforcement to increase wanted behaviors, as well as positive and negative punishment to decrease unwanted behaviors. Its effectiveness in bringing about worthwhile changes to the behaviors of people with Autism and Developmental Disabilities has been studied extensively, with promising results.…show more content…
After researching both sides, I still lean toward the use of ABA, but more cautiously and I find both arguments to have merit. I think that the use of ABA can be beneficial to some with autism and developmental disabilities and is even more beneficial for society, but it is not for everyone and should be evaluated closely to ensure that the treatment is what is best for the patient alone. A couple of things that would influence my current status on the use of ABA would be to see long-term scientific studies done on the psychological ramifications of receiving ABA treatment as opposed to no treatment, as well as a comparison of how autistic adults fare in society with and without treatment. Resources Baer, D.M., Wolf, M.M., & Risley, T.R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. 1, 91-97. Sulzer-Azaroff, B. & Mayer, R. (1991). Behavior analysis for lasting change. Fort Worth, TX: Holt, Reinhart & Winston, Inc. Maine Administrators of Services for Children with Disabilities (MADSEC) (2000). Report of the MADSEC Autism Task Force. Autism Speaks. (n.d.). Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). Retrieved from
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