Applied Behavior Analysis and Its Effect on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

By Lymairy Checo

Florida International University

This issue of NASET’s Autism Spectrum Disorder series was written by Lymairy Checo. In the previous years, the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has increased significantly. Currently, 1 out of every 59 children is diagnosed with ASD (Center of Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). This increase in ASD has significant implications for teachers and special education teachers. It is very probable for a teacher nowadays to have at least one student or more with ASD throughout their careers, which is why it is essential to research the most effective strategies to improve students with ASD both academically and behaviorally.  One of the common evidenced based practiced used today is applied behavior analysis (ABA). When practiced correctly ABA can be beneficial for students with ASD. Discrete trial teaching, task analysis, and incidental teaching are some of the elements that formulate ABA. This discipline has shown to improve “cognitive functioning, language and communication skills, social skills, repetitive behaviors, and academic performance” (Dillenburger, 2012). However, the subjects of these tests were toddlers. Nonetheless, the methods of ABA are commonly used on school-aged students with ASD although more research is required on its effectiveness. This paper will discuss what Applied Behavior Analysis and its components are, how it affects toddlers vs. school age students, and how it is beneficial for a school setting.


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