ABA/VB Resources

Applied Behavioral Analaysis (ABA)


Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) One of the most well tested and effective treatments for autism is Applied Behavioral Analysis. According to the 2008 Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General states, “Thirty years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and in increasing communication, learning, and appropriate social behaviors. The goal of behavioral management is to reinforce desirable behaviors and reduce undesirable ones.” Unfortunately, these programs are very expensive and parents often have to advocate hard to find funding and trained professionals.

ABA can take place in a child’s room, a section of a classroom, or any area that is quiet and free of distraction. In the best situations an ABA program is run by a licensed behavioral therapist. This therapist will observe the child and create a baseline of the child’s social skills, language and behaviors. They will then create an individually based program designed for that child. The therapists will constantly track the child’s progress during therapy and work towards consistently introducing and teaching new skills. These skills can include speech, self help, social skills, school readiness skills and more.

Controlled trials have shown ABA therapy significantly increases social skills and language when a child has at least 25-40 hours of therapy a week for at least 2 years (Lord & McGee, 2001). The earlier this intervention is started the more effective it will be. However, studies have also shown ABA to be effective with teens and adults (Weiss & Harris, 2001).

ABA Links/Resources

Free ABA Links/Resources, www.abaresources.com

  • Online Resources for Starting/Running Home ABA programs:
  • Useful textbooks/manuals for Running an ABA program
    • Good Places to Start:

      • Lynn M. Hamilton, Bernard Rimland. Facing Autism: Giving Parents Reasons for Hope and Guidance for Help
      • A Work in Progress: Behavior Management Strategies & A Curriculum for Intensive Behavioral Treatment of Autism by Ron Leaf, John McEachin, Jaisom D. Harsh, Ronald Burton Leaf – Very good information and is good to use as a compliment to the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills
      • >Sundberg, Mark, L., Ph.D. and Partington, James, W. Ph.D. Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities
      • Partington, James, W. PhD., and Mark L. Sundberg, Mark, L. PhD. The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS)
    • Lear, K. (2000). Help Us Learn. A Self-paced Training Program for ABA. Toronto: Kathy Lear. www.helpuslearn.com
    • Maurice C., Greene G., Luce, S. (1996). Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism: A manual for parents and professionals by 24 contributors. ISBN:0890796831
    • Lovaas, O. I. (1981). Teaching Developmentally Disabled Children: The Me Book, Austin, Texas 78757, 1- 512- 451- 3246. ISBN: 0936104783 (paperback, 250 pages, University Park Press, 1981).
    • Keenan, M., Kerr, K.P., & Dillenburger, K. (2000). Parent’s education as autism therapists: Applied behavior analysis in context. London: Jessican Kingsley Publishers.
  • Program Evaluation
    • Evaluating an ABA program


    • The Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist

      Developed by Bernard Rimland and Stephen Eldelson from the Autism Research Institute. This checklist can evaluate the effectiveness of intervention. Follow the link to get the checklist, or you can fill it online and print a copy.

  • Personal Stories
    • Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family’s Triumph over Autism by Catherine Maurice. (New York: Fawcett Columbia, 1993). ISBN: 0449906647 (paperback 371 pages, 1994)
  • On-line Email Groups
    • The ME-list

      A great place to post specific ABA questions. A wealth of information and a great archive section too. To sign-up send a message to LISTSERV@IUPUI.EDU and tell them you want to subscribe to the ME-list.

    • ABAParents

      A yahoo list serve for parents involved with an ABA program. E-mail address abaparents@yahoogroups.com. Go to Yahoo website and search for “ABAparents” to subscribe to this list.

    • The Verbal Behaviour List

      Similar to the ME-list, but deals with using ABA to teach verbal behaviour. To subscribe send an email to DTT-NETsubscribe@yahoogroups.com and in the body and subject heading of the text write the word “subscribe”.

    • Ontario Families for ABA

      An advocacy group for parents in the province of Ontario and throughout Canada who advocate for government funded ABA for their children. To join, please send message to OFABA@abaresources.com and in the subject header and body of the text write the word “subscribe”. This e-mail list is run by parent, Nancy Morrison, who began disseminating information about ABA in the media. The list continues to grow and provides information about ABA funding related strategies and events.

    • Schafer Autism Report

      Visit this link to subscribe to news related to autism including: Special Education • Mercury Toxicity • CAN • Vaccines • IDEA • East Coast Conferences • West Coast Conferences • World Conferences • DAN! Conferences • Digestive Enzymes • Autism Research • Genetic Research • Biomedical Research • Behavioral Research • “Spin” Research • Stem Cell Applications • Medical Imaging • Adult Autism Care & Advocacy • Asperger’s Aspirations • Advocacy Network • Latest Discoveries • Neurological Developments • Discussion Lists • Latest Autism Websites • Related Federal and State Legislation • NAAR • Environmental Toxins • Autism in the News • MIND Institute • GFCF Food • Vitamin A • ABA • ARI • ASA • ADHD • NIH • CDC • FDA • B6/Magnesium • Legal and Political Advocacy. Sent to you in a daily online newsletter.

  • Verbal Behaviour Links

    The Verbal Behavior Network, www.verbalbehaviornetwork.com

    An awesome site with many free downloads and a 53-minute video on verbal behaviour. Highly recommended!