If you have questions about your child’s development (not speaking, crawling, walking, eating, playing) as other children the same age then research supports finding solutions early gives your child the best chances of having a normal life. Therapists 2 GO will help walk you through the process and educate you to the resources needed for you to successfully advocate for your child. Give us a call a case manager will contact you within 24 hours.
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WHAT ARE ABA SERVICES?
“ABA” stands for Applied Behavior Analysis. ABA is a set of principles that form the basis for many behavioral treatments. ABA is based on the science of
learning and behavior. This science includes general “laws” about how behavior works and how learning takes place. ABA therapy applies these laws to behavior treatments in a way that helps to increase useful or desired behaviors. ABA also applies these laws to help reduce behaviors that may interfere with learning or behaviors that may harmful. ABA therapy is used to increase language and communication skills. It is also used to improve attention, focus, social skills, memory, and academics. ABA can be used to help decrease problem behaviors.
ABA is considered an evidence-based “best” practice treatment by the US Surgeon General and by the American Psychological Association. “Evidence based” means that ABA has passed scientific tests of its usefulness, quality, and effectiveness.
ABA therapy includes many different techniques. All of these techniques focus on antecedents (what happens before a behavior occurs) and on consequences (what happens after the behavior). One technique is “positive reinforcement.” When a behavior is followed by something that is valued (a reward), that behavior is more likely to be repeated. ABA uses positive reinforcement in a way that can be measured in order to help bring about meaningful behavior change.
A few types of therapies based on ABA principles are discrete trial learning, incidental teaching (or natural environment training), verbal behavior, pivotal response training, and natural language paradigm . All of these ABA-based therapies:
- Are structured
- Collect data for target skills or behaviors
- Provide positive strategies for changing responses and behaviors
ABA focuses on positive reinforcement strategies. It can help children who are having difficulty learning or acquiring new skills. It can also
address problem behaviors that interfere with functioning through a process called “functional behavioral assessment.”
The principles and methods of behavior analysis have been applied effectively in many circumstances to develop a wide range of skills in
learners with and without disabilities.
ABA Supports persons with Autism in many ways:
- Teach skills to replace problem behaviors. So your child can learn what “to do,” not just what “to stop doing.”
- Increase positive behavior and reduce interfering behavior. For example, reinforcement procedures increase on-task behavior or social interactions and reduce behaviors like self-injury or stereotypy.
- Maintain behaviors. For example: Teaching self-control and selfmonitoring procedures to maintain and generalize job-related social skills
- Change responses to your child’s behavior. These responses could unintentionally be rewarding problem behavior.
- Increase your child’s academic, social, and self-help skills.
- Improve ability to focus on tasks, comply with tasks, and increase motivation to perform.
- Aim to improve cognitive skills. Helps your child be more available for learning.
- Generalize or to transfer behavior from one situation or response to another (For example, from completing assignments in the resource room to performing as well in the mainstream classroom).
ABA is such a broad approach that it is difficult to define what a typical program will look like. The amount of therapy and level of parent involvement varies, often according to the specific needs of the child. ABA skills training programs (such as discrete trial training, incidental teaching) can require several hours each day. While skills training programs are usually implemented by behavior therapists or teachers, parents are often taught critical skills to help their children transfer what they have learned in therapy to everyday life.
ABA skills training programs for young children are often based in the home and require special materials and a dedicated area for working. ABA behavior modification therapy may include 1-2 hours of parent training per week with the parents using strategies they learn in between visits.