So what is ABA?
To put it simply, Applied Behaviour Analysis describes any teaching strategy which uses the principles of Behaviour Analysis in its approach. Back in the early 20th Century, certain psychologists began to argue that observable behaviour should be the driving principle underpinning any psychological approach. This has always been, and will always be, inherent in ABA. Rather than trying to explain people's thoughts and actions using fanciful theories about the way in which our minds may (or may not) work, these psychologists developed explanations for our actions based on nothing other than observable and recordable facts. They proved that our behaviour is governed by the environment in which we live.
In the late 1930s, this research into "behaviour" was consolidated by psychologist B.F. Skinner, and the field known as "Behaviour Analysis" was born. Through his research, Skinner outlined a basic set of principles which describe the various ways in which our behaviour is controlled by our environment. These principles still hold true today and, despite any misunderstandings one might have about what ABA is and is not, they are all proven through years of research.
The use of ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis), as an early-intervention strategy for children with developmental disorders, was popularized by O. Ivar Lovaas at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) in the early 1960's. Drawing his methodology from the science of Behaviour Analysis, Lovaas proved that skills can be developed in children with Autism and other developmental delays, whose learning potential would have otherwise been largely ignored.
In more recent years, the research and practice of A.B.A. has taken on a more person-centred and individualised approach,, in which the motivations of the learner are held as the key to success in their acquisition of new skills. In short, a happy and motivated learner will learn more quickly than a learner who is disengaged, and this is the guiding principle by which we at CEIEC work.
Duncan Fennemore has been Clinical Director of CEIEC since 1993. As well as being a qualified teacher in the UK and in Canada, Duncan holds qualifications in Counselling Psychology (U.K) and Educational Psychology (Canada). In addition, he was in the first cohort of UK Behaviour Analysts to be certified by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (USA) in 2002.
He has delivered keynote speeches and training in all applied areas of Behaviour Analysis, across the world (including the UK, Europe, The Gulf States, India and Vietnam).
Duncan has recently qualified through the Institute of Leadership and Management here in the UK, as a Level Five Executive Coach and Mentor. He works on a part-time basis as a Trainer Assessor with the British Army, in addition to his ongoing consultation work with schools, and with individual clients aged from two to thirty years of age.