What is ABA Therapy ?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a part of Behavior Psychology. Professionals who use ABA Therapy as part of their practices do so to help individuals reach their highest potential while trying to use the least restrictive practice. They specifically help with developing socially significant (meaningful) behavior.
When used to support children, ABA can help acquire and enhance language, academic skills, coping skills, daily living skills, and social skills. One of the main priorities of Behavior Analysts is the identification of pivotal skills that are key to learning whole new repertoires.
How and where ABA Therapy is used?
At schools: Teachers use principles, such as reinforcement to help motivate and reward group and individual work. Sometimes we see sites such as “ClassDojo” or “Class 123” used, which provide visual and auditory feedback; such systems keep track of time and goals and are excellent reinforcement strategies. ABA has several principles that used to either increase an appropriate behavior or decrease inappropriate behavior.
In the classroom, the teacher may make use of the principles to obtain organization skills and self-management skills or academic skills. Besides she could also acquire conversation skills or social skills. The teacher may also use different strategies to reduce inappropriate behavior such as off-task behavior or out of seat behavior.
At home: Some professionals help parents and caregivers support children by providing onsite solutions to environmental variables that can be changed. These changes can help reduce behavior and teach new skills.
Clinics: Similar to home settings practitioners who use the principles of ABA work on a variety of skills from eating, language, social skills, academics, and coping skills. They can work with small groups or one on one, depending on the goals and skill level of the child.
What to expect ( ABA Therapy Results )?
- The first couple of sessions (2-3) aim to build a relationship with your child. During these sessions, a professional will assess skills level, barriers to learning and identify reinforcers; following professional will develop an intervention plan that tailored to each child’s individual needs.
- A child’s sessions will in most cases involve parents or caregiver participation to ensure generalize the skills children acquired.
- Teaching techniques: The two most commonly known techniques are Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and Natural Environment Training (NET)
- Today several Practitioners use NET or versions of it to teach children concepts. They do this by creating teaching opportunities within a child’s environment.
- For older learners self -management strategies are targeted. Learners can pick up skills such as time management, organization skills, and coping skills.
- Currently, ABA therapy is commonly used within the United States, however, it introduced in other countries.