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What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Behavior analysis focuses on the principles that explain how learning takes place. Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm, interfere with learning, or prevent someone from engaging in their natural environment.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior.

Behavior analysts began working with young children with autism and related disorders in the 1960s. Early techniques often involved adults directing most of the instruction. Some allowed the child to take the lead. Since that time, a wide variety of ABA techniques have been developed for building useful skills – from toddlers through adulthood.

These techniques can be used in structured situations such as a classroom lesson as well as in “everyday” situations such as family dinnertime or the neighborhood playground. Some ABA therapy sessions involve one-on-one interaction between the behavior analyst and the participant. Group instruction can likewise prove useful.

Dr. Heather Griffin, EdD, BCBA

Dr. Heather Griffin earned a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida in December 2014.  Heather also has a Masters of Science degree from The Florida State University Applied Behavior Analysis program and became a BCBA in 2005.  Heather has more than 15 years experience in the field and has practiced across a variety of settings including public and private schools, family homes and group homes, day programs, and other community settings.  Heather currently oversees the delivery of ABA services and leads a diverse team of BCBAs, BCaBAs, and RBTs. Heather has served in leadership positions within the local Association for Behavior Analysis and is an active advocate for the delivery of high quality ABA services in Northeast Florida.  In her free time she enjoys traveling and exploring the country with her husband and two young sons.

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