The Applied Behavior Analysis Collective (ABAC) is a behavioral science research group at Michigan State University. The ABAC evaluates the effects of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA; a branch of psychology which uses behavioral principles to solve socially significant problems) as a treatment for autism. The ABAC’s research is primarily focused on early-intensive behavioral interventions (EIBI) and specifically examines how to best help children with autism communicate, socialize, and make choices. Members of the ABAC also examine professional and ethical issues for individuals who provide ABA services. This research focuses on evaluating and designing strategies to make appropriate treatment decisions, developing systems of employee oversight and competency, and engaging in ethical behaviors while treating individuals with autism.
The Early Learning Institute
A majority of the research conducted by the ABAC takes place at MSU’s Early Learning Institute. The Early Learning Institute (commonly referred to as ELI) is a community-based EIBI program for children with autism. The Early Learning Institute is located at three sites: The Child Development Laboratory Preschool at MSU, Head Start at Capital Area Community Services, Inc. in Lansing, MI and Midway Early Childhood Learning center in Holt, MI.
The Early Learning Institute offers a unique opportunity to conduct both single-subject research and larger scale randomized-controlled trials on autism interventions. The research conducted at the Early Learning Institute is innovative, and it is designed to directly improve the lives of the children who participate. Furthermore, the research conducted at the Early Learning Institute aims to influence and advance policy in the State of Michigan and beyond, and to have broad influence on autism service providers both nationally and internationally.
The ABAC is actively engaged in collaborations with researchers at a number of research institutions. They are always open to new collaborations and welcome any inquiries as to how such collaborations may occur. Previous and current collaborating institutions are listed below.