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About Us

The ABA Academy opened in 2013 in Manatee County with 8 students. In 2016 we relocated to Sarasota County to a building that was built to suit for our organization. We have 6 classrooms that are all run differently depending on student goals.  Many students at The ABA Academy receive private one to one therapy with our therapists after school or in their homes for parents who wish to extend services and bridge the gap between home and school. Our IEP’s are extremely individualized for students and have goals related to academics as well as social, emotional, and behavioral needs.

What is ABA?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental motivation to produce socially significant improvement in human behavior. Socially significant behaviors include communication, social skills, and activities of daily living, academics, and work skills. Based on the findings of descriptive and functional analysis, ABA uses antecedent stimuli and consequences to produce practical change. ABA includes the use of direct observation, measurement, and functional analysis of the relations between environment and behavior. ABA is based on the belief that an individual’s behavior is determined by past and current environmental events in conjunction with organic variables such as genetics. Therefore, it focuses on explaining behavior in terms of external events that can be manipulated rather than internal constructs that are beyond our control. The focus of ABA is to use objective and reliable measurement of observable behavior.
NOTE: The trademarks “Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.,” “BACB,” “Board Certified Behavior Analyst,” “BCBA,” “Board Certified Associate Behavior Analyst,” and “BCABA” are owned by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. All rights reserved. Copyright © 1998-2005 by BACB® All rights reserved.

Our Directors:

Shelly Swift MS/BCBA- Executive Director

Shelly Swift MS/BCBA- Executive Director

Shelly Swift
MS/BCBA- Executive Director

In 2003, Shelly received her M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. For the past 17 years she has worked in the field of ABA, with training from various professionals including Dr. Carbone, Dr. Patrick McGreevy, Dr. Jose Martinez-Diaz, Dr. Mark Sundberg, among others. Shelly’s experience includes Discrete Trial Training, Verbal Behavior, Toilet Training, Feeding Programs, School Inclusion, and Social Skills Training. In July 2008 she completed the Professional Development Program in Behavior Analysis at Florida Institute of Technology and became a Board Certified Behavior Anaylst. Shelly believes in the potential of every child to succeed by combining scientific research methodologies with compassion and love. “Only when a child knows you care, will they grant you the honor to teach them.”


Our Teachers:

The ABA Academy employs teachers with either a state teaching certification in ESE, or who are eligible for certification with the BACB. All teachers are given guided practice by our Clinical Director/BCBA in the classroom while working directly with students. Throughout the school year we hold 4 professional days to provide teachers with ongoing continuing education courses in topics related to education, applied behavior analysis.