Autism & ABA

Autism & ABA

What is Autism?

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that usually appears during the first three years of life. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are often characterized by impairments in many areas of functioning including expressive and receptive communication, social interaction, play, and self-help skills. In addition, people with autism often display unusual and repetitive patterns of behavior that interfere with daily functioning and learning.

Current estimates from the Centers for Disease Control suggest that one in 68 children have been diagnosed with autism. The cause of autism has not yet been identified, although present studies indicate a neurological basis for the disability.

The Comprehensive Learning Center utilizes a widely accepted and recognized treatment approach for individuals with autism known as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

Read the Pennsylvania Autism Census Report


What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a science that is dedicated to the improvement and understanding of human behavior. Cooper, Heron and Heward (2007) define ABA as the following:

Applied behavior analysis is the science in which tactics derived from the principles of behavior are applied systematically to improve socially significant behavior, and experimentation is used to identify the variables responsible for behavior change.

What does this mean? ABA is guided by the methods and attitudes of science. This means that all of our interventions are defined and delivered in a systematic and consistent way with the given scientific technologies available to us. In using science, we manipulate variables and collect data. By adhering to behavioral principles, we are held accountable to demonstrating that the methods and procedures we use are responsible for change in behavior. To summarize, we do not rely on subjective or anecdotal information as to why we think behavior has changed (or not changed), because we know this can be unreliable. By utilizing the scientific principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, we are able to provide our learners with the most efficient and effective interventions available through scientific research.

Cooper, J., Heron, T.E., Heward, W.L. (2007). Applied Behavior Analysis – Second Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson

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The heart and soul of The AJ Foundation and CLC are the children whose lives have been so enriched by our efforts. Find out about some of our favorite "success" stories.
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