Empowering People, Launching lives

About ABA/VB

We believe that Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and Verbal Behaviour (VB) can make a real difference to the teaching and learning for people with autism and their families.

What is Applied Behaviour Analysis?

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is a way of teaching people with autism or other learning difficulties by working out what it is that will motivate them to learn, and by breaking every task down into small achievable steps. Each step is worked on in a systematic and consistent way, using appropriate “reinforcement” or rewards to encourage the behaviours needed for future learning.

ABA teaches pupils with autism how to learn, and can therefore be applied to the widest range of skills – from speech and language, self-care and motor skills, right through to reading and writing.

ABA has a rich scientific history in assisting those with developmental disabilities and there is a vast body of research, spanning 4 decades, documenting the effectiveness of ABA for children with autism.

A number of reviews of evidence-based practices in autism conclude that ABA has the strongest evidence base of any comprehensive intervention (Eldevik et al, 2009; Rogers, 2008).

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What is Verbal Behaviour?

Verbal Behaviour (VB) is a method of teaching people with autism based on the principles of ABA. Its foundations are rooted in the work of the psychologist and behaviourist B.F. Skinner and has been developed over the last 50 years by leading autism experts. As the name suggests, the VB system concentrates heavily on teaching the child their first functional communication, then speech and language, then the social skills that come with language.

We use VB at Rainbow School because we believe that it is proven to be the most effective system of teaching children with autism. It is an entirely child-centred approach to education, with an individual programme for each pupil. Progress is carefully monitored and adjustments are made along the way, using the VB-MAPP, BSquared and the Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS) for our oldest pupils.

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