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5 Techniques Used in Applied Behavior Analysis

Working with children with disabilities takes a person with special qualifications and a special type of heart. This rewarding career path is a great way to make a steady income while helping children become valuable members of society. These children require people with specialized training, though. This specialized training is in the field called Applied Behavior Analysis. Applied Behavior Analysis will teach a person how to use several techniques to produce results in children who need assistance. Here are five of those valuable techniques.

Positive Reinforcement

A child with learning or social disabilities may not know how to respond in certain situations. Therefore, when they do something correctly, a properly trained professional will know to use positive reinforcement immediately to encourage this behavior in the future. Students will learn the balance of when to reward somebody or when to consider the proper behavior to be expected.

Negative Reinforcement

Many times, a child will not act properly. When this happens, the behavior needs to be corrected immediately. A good way to correct bad behavior is to punish the child. Remember, the child needs to be punished immediately and know what they are being punished for. More important, the punishments must be consistent. Too often, children are punished inconsistently, and the punishment is more confusing to the child than effective.

Prompting and Fading

Prompts are visual or verbal cues to encourage a behavior. Verbal cues are gentle reminders. Visual cues are even less direct and might be a gesture or a look of your eyes. The child will see this cue and be reminded to behave in a simple way. Examples could be taking their shoes off when walking into the house or washing their hands before a meal. The idea is to eventually fade out the prompts when the child no longer needs them. The prompts can be helpful because they are typically not intimidating or accusatory.

Task Analysis

This is a model to help learn about the particular child rather than correct or reinforce behavior. A teacher will give a child a task and watch how they preform it. The analysis is broken down into a number of categories including:

  • Physical actions
  • Cognitive actions
  • Repetition
  • Allocation
  • EnvironmentOnce a professional has analyzed how a child preforms tasks, they can use this information to make other tasks easier for the particular child.


This is a model to help the child learn. The teacher will take what the child has learned in one setting and apply it to other settings. If a child knows how to sing the alphabet when singing it, the teacher can take their knowledge of the alphabet and try to apply it to other things, such as teaching the child to spell their name.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Online Programs 2015

Children with disabilities need personalized and special assistance. Luckily, there are a number of people trained in these particular techniques and others that help make children who need a little more help successful and happy adults. You can learn these techniques in detail, too, by studying applied behavior analysis.