Applied Behavioral Analysis Essay

Applied Behavioral Analysis Essay

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Every single day is a struggle for an autistic child and his or her family. Autism affects all aspects of a child’s life from their ability to show affection to their family to being able to do simple tasks such as communicating and thinking in ways that we take for granted. Autism is defined as a developmental disability in which children experience abnormalities in social functioning, language, often act in puzzling ways, and usually appears before the age of three (Mash &Wolfe, 2010). Although the exact causes of autism are unknown there does seem to be a strong genetic component. Having a child or family member with autism is a constant battle of emotion and frustration. Everyone wants to help the people they love when they have difficulty adapting but the difficulty in helping a child with autism arises in the fact that these children do not think or process information like everyone else does making it very difficult to reach them and help them function in a society they don’t understand. Skinner (1963) and his early work led the way in finding a method for assisting people with autism and aiding them in gaining wider ranges of functioning and better quality of life.
Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) originated with Skinner and his studies on operant conditioning. The method used to apply operant conditioning has since been applied to help expand necessary life skills in children with autism. ABA uses a scientific approach to understand of all kinds of actions and skills in both physical and social events that might affect a person’s behavior (Barnhill, 2008). The main focus of ABA is to understand behavior and how and why learning will occur. According the Skinner’s work, ABA looks at the functional approach to behavior....


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...nd Other Developmental Disabilities,23(3), 186-188.
Kuhn, L. (2009). Evaluation of a public school group-based applied behavioral analysis program
for elementary students with autism. Humanities and Social Sciences , 71(1), 84-92.
Mash, E. J., & Wolfe, D. A. (2010). Abnormal Child Psychology (4th ed., pp. 299-333).
Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Skinner, B. F. (1963). The experimental analysis of behavior: a history. American
Psychologist, 18(8), 503-515.
Renna, R. (2004). Autism spectrum disorders:learning to listen as we shape behaviors
blending choise theory with applied behavioral analysis . International Journal of Reality Therapy, 23(2), 17-22.
Ringdahl, J., Kopelman, T., & Falcomata, T. (2009).Applied behavior analysis and its
application to autism and autism related disorders. (pp. 15-32). Iowa City, IA: Springer Science and Business Media

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