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.

Applied Behaviour Analysis

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is the application of the scientific principles of behaviour analysis to areas of social significance, the most widely known being teaching people with autism but other less well known areas include performance management, behavioural safety at work and acquired brain injury.

ABA is used to analyse behaviour in order to understand why it happens and then uses this information to guide the curriculum and target setting, support pupils to learn new skills, reduce problematic behaviours and increase socially appropriate and significant behaviours. There is a vast body of research, spanning four decades, documenting the effectiveness of ABA for children with autism.

Verbal Behaviour

Verbal Behaviour (VB) refers to a view that language is a behaviour which is learnt and acquired in the same way as other skills. The foundations of VB are rooted in the work of the psychologist and behaviourist B.F Skinner. There is a large body of research supporting this analysis of language and its application to teaching children and young people with autism.

An ABA/VB approach

ABA and VB are not separate entities, they can be used in conjunction with one another. An ABA/VB approach will utilise ABA principles and teaching procedures alongside the VB methods of teaching language based on its function and the motivation of an individual.

Our ABA/VB teaching aims to:

  • Motivate children and young people to want to learn
  • Understand behaviour and why it occurs
  • Support children and young people to be successful in their learning
  • Teach functional language and communication.


How do we do this?

There is no one way to teach using ABA/VB, each pupil is an individual, therefore all interventions are tailored to their needs and will vary depending on those needs. However, there are some commonalities:

  • All pupils will have an initial baseline assessment in their first 6 weeks
  • All programmes will focus on motivating the pupils to be able to access learning
  • All programmes will focus on teaching functional language and communication
  • Where needed programmes will have a focus on teaching pre requisite skills to learning such as copying others or following simple instructions from others
  • Programmes will focus on teaching self-care and independence skills.


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