Applied Behavior Analysis works well as a therapy for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some of the principles of ABA therapy include individualized treatment, self-motivation, one-on-one attention, and hands-on social learning. While each principle improves a specific aspect of ASD, in sum, ABA works with the psychological theory of operant conditioning to teach those with social and language deficiencies alternative behaviors to their negative behavior. The repetition of rewards and punishments helps the patient subconsciously increase the positive behaviors and decrease the negative. ABA was designed to allow for individualized approaches in order to effectively combat the wide range of conditions that the Autism spectrum encompasses. The patients enjoy this form of therapy as it is driven by the interests of the patients themselves. Applied Behavior Analysis also helps Autism patients who are highly susceptible to over-stimulation of one or more senses. The one-on-one approaches within ABA discourage the excessive sensory input that frequently accompanies social interactions.
Recently, I had the privilege of going to a local college summer camp where I watched therapists work with a group of adults on the Autism spectrum using Applied Behavior Analysis therapy. From an observers perspective, the patients were enjoying playing games and watching videos. In between, the therapists and graduate assistants were working on each of the individualized goals. Since ABA is tailored for ASD and sets realistic goals for ASD patients, this form of treatment may be the best option for many people with Autism.