Video Modelling and Behaviour Analysis: A Guide for Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism

By Christos Nikopoulos; Mickey Keenan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2 Applied Behaviour Analysis
(ABA)in Autism
Basic Concepts in Practice and Research

Science moves, but slowly slowly, creeping on from point to point.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Locksley Hall (1842)


2.1 Introduction

In general, ABA focuses on the improvement of objectively defined and observable behaviours (Heward and Cooper 1987). It uses the methods of science (i.e. description, quantification and analysis) independently of the population being served by its procedures. This chapter examines how these scientific practices translate into a behavioural programme for the autism pop– ulation. Also, it describes the basic concepts used in behavioural research in preparation for the research studies outlined in Chapter 4.


2.2 Diagnosis and applied behaviour analysis

Behavioural therapeutic approaches and programmes are based on a detailed investigation and assessment of an individual's strengths, needs and life cir– cumstances. Therefore, an accurate diagnosis does not really add much to the intervention plans of a behaviour analyst. However, a diagnosis based on complete neuro-physiological and psychological examination could give essential information in:

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