Frequently asked Questions

What is the history of ABA Therapy?

FILED IN: FAQs

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy was first developed in the 1970s by Psychologist Ivar Lovaas and Robert Koegel at UCLA.  The original approached developed was a technique or sub-set of ABA Therapy called Discrete Trial Training (DTT), which is still used today.  ABA Therapy has been around for 44 years, and is based on the finding that when behavior is rewarded, it is more likely to be repeated.   It’s approach has expanded to include several different types of ABA Therapy or techniques to aid application, including: Pivotal Response Training (PRT), Behavior Modification, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Functional Analysis, Differential Reinforcement, Behavior Mapping, Sensory Strategies, and Advanced Play Skills.  Initial research by Psychologist Ivar Lovaas done in 1987 demonstrated increased improvement in children’s IQ scores and an increase in functional learning.  These results were produced in children who received 40 hours per week of ABA Therapy.  More recent research has been done on ABA Therapy and it’s successes, as ABA has evolved into the standard of care for children with cognitive and developmental disabilities.  Researcher and Psychologist James Mulick, Ph.D. of Ohio State University found an association between of form of ABA Therapy called intensive behavioral intervention, and improvement in children’s IQ scores.  Throughout the history of ABA Therapy, research has produced sound results indicating the utilization of intense, early intervention ABA Therapy, like that offered through Xcite Steps’ programs.

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