As you may know, I was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. I received early interventions, including ABA, until the age of 8. Now as a college student through Purdue University Global, who is pursing a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), I want to provide a perspective about ABA for everyone to understand. I am going to break down some myths about ABA here:
- Myth: ABA is a kind of therapy.
- Fact: ABA is more than a kind of therapy. ABA is a kind of science. ABA is known to study behavior that occurs in the environment. For instance, the smell of food is a natural behavior for people because it means they are hungry, as their natural response/reaction. On the other hand, when students have failed a test more than once in school, they demonstrate ways to avoid exams in school, such as by pretending to be sick, which is a learned behavior developed based on situations in the environment. Therefore, ABA is used in our lives everyday.
- Myth: ABA is an effective service for individuals with ASD.
- Fact: ABA is not only an effective service for individuals with ASD. ABA is effective for individuals with various disabilities, as well as aiding acquisition of skills (self care, academic, communication/language, social) for anyone. ABA teaches people new skills and behaviors to use in any setting.
- Myth: ABA is only applied to behavior issues or problems.
- Fact: ABA is used to increase peoples’ abilities. It has been used to teach various skills, from language to social and self-care. For example, I learned to communicate through picture exchange communication system (PECs), since I lacked expressive language very young. It was a way for me to communicate with people in my life. Peoples’ abilities and individual needs are considered through observations, measurements, and assessments.
- Myth: Anyone can do ABA.
- Fact: The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) makes sure that behavior analysts, such as BCBAs and BCaBAs, are certified to train anyone in the community involved in an individual’s life to apply intervention techniques. For example, parents can receive parent training to apply intervention techniques. Plus, college courses in ABA and certification can help people gain knowledge and apply ABA techniques. It is preferred and recommended to gain proper knowledge and certification to apply ABA techniques in various settings.
Do you know any more myths about Applied behavior analysis (ABA) that should be broken down? Share your thoughts in the comment’s section.