Applied Behavior Analysis
ABA is considered an evidence-based best practice treatment by the US Surgeon General and by the American Psychological Association.
A qualified and trained behavior analyst (BCBA) designs and directly oversees the program. They customize the ABA program to each learner’s skills, needs, interests, preferences, and family situation.
The BCBA will start by doing a detailed assessment of each person’s skills and preferences. They will use this to write specific treatment goals. Family goals and preferences may be included, too. There may be parent training involved to be consistent in the child’s progress.
A branch of psychology concerned with employing evidence-supported interventions or instruction forms the basis of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Examples of ABA-centered interventions encompass but are not limited to, Discrete Trial Teaching, Casual Teaching, Central Response Training, and Functional Communication Coaching.
The philosophy behind ABA therapy is:
- To teach a child how to do something (e.g., prepare for school, behave better, play with others, or do things for himself or herself)
- To provide interventions to those who may deal with pervasive developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders
- To break a new skill down into very small steps
- To provide a reward to a child for each step they do, even if they need help
- Child friendly, and rewards a child with things or activities they like
- To personalize the therapy to the level of the ability of the child
- To measure the child’s skills regularly in order to adjust the teaching level
Some ABA teaching programs include:
- Discrete Trial Training (Lovaas)
- Pivotal Response Training
- Verbal Behavior Approach
- Competent Learner Model Functional Communication Learning
- Precision Teaching
- STAR Curriculum
- Incidental Teaching
Generally, children start receiving ABA treatment between the ages of two and six. If a child is two when beginning treatments, they can use ABA to cultivate superior communication abilities and teach them to obey simple instructions – all in preparation for preschool. For older children, ABA is often used as part of the child’s education, to teach social skills, and daily living skills or to help change problem behaviors.
What is ABA therapy?
ABA Therapy Examples
Individualization in the Treatment of Children with Autism