Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA)

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is a process of studying and modifying behaviour. It has been rigorously tested and is effective for many individuals with autism and other developmental disorders. It changes the environment and monitors changed responses from the person, to result in changed behaviour or learning of life skills.

ABA does not focus solely on stopping behaviours that are not helpful to the child (for example, hitting others or running across roads). It also takes account of environmental factors that can be changed to help (such as visual supports) and on giving the child more helpful replacement behaviours (for example, instead of hitting say ‘Go away please’).

As well as reducing and replacing behaviours that are not helpful to the child, ABA is used to introduce and increase behaviours that are helpful/enjoyable (e.g. being able to listen to instructions, being able to wait for a hot chocolate in a cafe, being able to play on an iPad)

Verbal Behaviour (VB)

The verbal behaviour approach focuses on enhancing children’s ability to use functional language, through the use of ABA techniques. This is a scientifically based method which is backed by a wide body of research, dating back over more than 20 years.

The prime focus of VB is to develop functional communication and language acquisition. VB also addresses social, play and independence skills. Another key aim of teaching using VB methods is to reduce challenging behaviour and replace this with appropriate functional behaviours.

Reducing challenging behaviours allows pupils to access a broad and balanced curriculum. Teaching using VB gives pupils the learning skills they need to achieve their academic potential.


The Stoa School relies on your donations to provide support for children with autism and their families.