Skip to main content

ABA and Speech Explained

What is ABA?

ABA is a well-developed scientific discipline that focuses on the analysis, design, implementation, and evaluation of social and other environmental modifications to produce meaningful changes in human behavior.

ABA includes the use of direct observation, measurement, and functional analysis of the relations between environment and behavior. ABA uses changes in environmental events, including antecedent stimuli and consequences, to produce practical and significant changes in behavior. These relevant environmental events are usually identified through a variety of specialized assessment methods.

ABA is based on the fact that an individual’s behavior is determined by past and current environmental events in conjunction with organic variables such as their genetic endowment and physiological variables. Thus, when applied to ASD, ABA focuses on treating the problems of the disorder by altering the individual’s social and learning environments.

What is Speech?

Speech and Language Pathology is the therapy of treating multiple Speech and Language along with Communication disorders. Speech and Language Pathologists work with ages 0-100. They specifically work on the following concepts/difficulties:

Speech sounds—how we say sounds and put sounds together into words. Other words for these problems are articulation or phonological disorders, apraxia of speech, or dysarthria.

Language—how well we understand what we hear or read and how we use words to tell others what we are thinking. In adults this problem may be called aphasia.

Literacy—how well we read and write. People with speech and language disorders may also have trouble reading, spelling, and writing.

Social communication—how well we follow rules, like taking turns, how to talk to different people, or how close to stand to someone when talking. This is also called pragmatics.

Voice—how our voices sound. We may sound hoarse, lose our voices easily, talk too loudly or through our noses, or be unable to make sounds.

Fluency—also called stuttering, is how well speech flows. Someone who stutters may repeat sounds, like t-t-t-table, use “um” or “uh,” or pause a lot when talking. Many young children will go through a time when they stutter, but most outgrow it.

Cognitive communication—how well our minds work. Problems may involve memory, attention, problem-solving, organization, and other thinking skills.

Feeding and swallowing—how well we suck, chew, and swallow food and liquid. A swallowing disorder may lead to poor nutrition, weight loss, and other health problems. This is also called dysphagia.

ASHA Webpage (