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Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is an approach to psychological therapy which stems from its behaviour therapy roots of CBT. It is based on the principles of “operant conditioning”, which acknowledges that providing a positive event after a behaviour increases the chances that a person will act in the same way in the future.

Applied Behaviour Analysis is not a prominent approach in adult clinical psychology. However it has gained a great deal of attention because of it's apparent effectiveness in the treatment of Autism, as well as dealing with difficult behaviours in children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

In one large study applied behaviour analysis resulted in huge improvements in functioning, including increases in IQ, in children with autism. While some have been critical of this study, overall there is good evidence for the effectiveness of applied behaviour analysis in autism.

The downside of Applied Behaviour Analysis is that it is an extremely intensive treatment typically demanding many hours a week of one-on-one interaction with the child with Autism.

Disclaimer: This site is intended for Australian audiences. It is general information and should not be used for treatment or diagnosis of your problems. Consult a GP or mental health professional for advice on your situation. If you require immediate telephone counselling assistance please call Lifeline 24 hour counselling service on 13 11 14, or contact your local mental health service.