Applied Behavior Analysis – ABA
ABA is a type of therapy based on principles of learning and motivation from Behavior analysis. This therapy helps us to understand the applicability of behaviors in real life
situations. ABA is an adult led therapy technique that is one of the most widely used technique for behavior modification. free consulting
Core Principles of ABA : The consequences of behavior decide whether behavior will increase or decrease.
The goal of ABA is to teach children the skills they need to learn from the environment with Special ABA Techniques & ABA Therapy . Basically it identifying specific behaviors and modifying them and keeping data on them so that you can tell what is changing. The three–term contingency (also known as the ABC contingency) in operant conditioning describes the relationship between a behavior, its consequence, and the antecedents.
Aim of ABA:
The aim of the therapy is to:
- Increase the probability of occurrence of desirable behaviors and to decrease the probability of undesirable ones
- To teach new skills (adaptive skills, communication skills, social skills etc.)
- To maintain behaviors
- To decrease the frequency and intensity of disruptive behaviors (e.g. self-injury or stereotypic behaviors)
Who introduced ABA?
ABA was introduced in 1970 by Psychologist Ivar Lovaas and Robert Koegel at UCLA.
Types of ABA Therapy
Its approach has expanded to include several different types of ABA Therapy or techniques to aid application
|1||Pivotal Response Training (PRT)|
|3||Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)|
|8||Advanced Play Skills|
How does ABA Therapy work?
- It tries to meet the individual needs of each person (individualized education plan), skill repertoire development for skill deficits and behavior management for excessive disruptive behaviors.
- Can be implemented in one on one therapeutic intervention and in a group setting as well
- ABA can be implemented at various places – at home, school, and community
- It goes by an initial assessment of behavior, led by monitoring of behavior (baselines), then devising a management plan and recording the change in behavior as per the management is given. The baselines and recording strategies are the key methods to monitor behavior in ABA.
Three Term Contingency : ABC
1 – An Antecedent: this is what occurs right before the target behavior. It can be verbal (command, request) or non – verbal like picture, toy or physical. A command can be from the environment, from another person or sensory stimulation.
2 – A resulting Behavior: this is the person’s response to the antecedent. The behavioral response can be an action, a verbal response or some other
3 – A Consequence: the outcome that immediately follows the response. The consequence will decide the future probability of occurrence of behavior, whether it will increase or decrease.
Looking at A-B-Cs helps us understand:
- Why a behavior may be happening
- The consequence of behavior would determine whether the behavior will
occur in the future or not
Applied Behavior Analysis Applications:
ABA is effective for people of all ages. It can be used in regular and special education setups, pediatric medicine, treatment of troubled teens, sports psychology, business and service organizations, early intensive treatment for children with autism, and eating disorders.
*As soon as the child is diagnosed with autism seek ABA therapy as soon as possible.
Evidence based therapy working hours for ABA
Forty hours one on one session in a week.
What does an ABA Program Involve?
An ABA program devised by a BCBA will compromise on detailed assessment of the child on the following domains taken from THE ASSESSMENT OF BASIC LANGUAGE AND LEARNING SKILLS MANUAL (ABBLS R). The ABBLS R is an assessment, curriculum guide and skills tracking system for children with language delay.
- Basic learner skills assessments
- Cooperation and reinforce effectiveness
- Visual performance
- Receptive language
- Vocal imitation
- Spontaneous vocalizations
- Syntax and grammar
- Play and leisure
- Social interaction
- Group instruction
- Follow classroom routines
- Generalized responding
- Academic skills assessment
- Reading skills
- Math skills
- Writing skills
- Self help skills assessment
- Dressing skills
- Eating skills
- Toilet skills
- Motor skills assessment
- Gross motor skills
- Fine motor skills
The ABLLS R manual compromised of these four major categories having 25 domains on which the Behavior analyst assessed the child and devises the management plan accordingly. The scoring is done on each domain based on the competency of the child, the planner is made accordingly.
Early Intensive Behavior Intervention (EIBI)
EIBI program offers 10 major components
- Treatment should begin early (prior to age 4 years)
- Intervention should be intensive (40 hours per week)
- Intervention must be based on behaviors (principles of behavior analysis)
- Treatment is individualized for each child
- Treatment must be comprehensive (detailed assessment of behaviors)
- Treatment should occur in child’s natural environment
- Active parent involvement
- Opportunity to learn from and interact with typical peers is provided
- Duration of treatment
- Treatment supervision is only provided by individuals with experience in autism and advanced training in ABA
Behavior Teaching approaches in EIBI
- Discrete trail training
- Natural environment
- Fluency based instructions
- Discrete Trail training
Discrete trail training is one of the most frequent and widely use strategy/ approach in ABA. It comprises of Stimulus (SD), a response or prompt, reinforcement or correction.
- a) Discriminative Stimulus: a stimulusin the presence of which a particular response will be reinforced
- SD should be clear and consistent
- Free of extraneous information
- Slightly louder than normal tone
- b) Prompt
A prompt is some form of assistance so that the child response correctly.
- To help the child to learn through errorless learning
- Response comes after the prompt (SD + Prompt = Response)
- c)Reinforcement or correction
- Once the SD is given the child either respond correctly and reinforcement is delivered or the child responds incorrectly and a correction procedure is applied.
- To general approaches to deal with incorrect responses
- Informational “NO”
- The therapist doesn’t say NO but does not deliver the reinforcer
2) Natural Environment
To help a child to learn new skills, Natural Environment Teaching (NET)
utilizes real-world scenarios, applying principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to teach
in the natural environment.
Natural Environment Training is a mode of teaching that is based on the
individual motivation to learn while using naturalistic or environmental cues. But this
learning is systematic but using the cues in a structured manner.
3) Fluency based Instruction Training or Precision Teaching
Precision teaching is one of the modalities that focused heavily on systematically monitoring the data the frequency of the desirable responses will determine each learner’s curriculum. The aim is to maximize the learning based on personal fluency
measurements.. free training of ABA
Strategies used in Applied Behavior Analysis
- Reinforcement:procedure of providing consequences for a behavior that increase or maintain that behavior.
- The most important assessment in ABA is to identify the reinforce the child requires to respond to a command.
- It motivates the child to learn
- The more powerful the reinforce the rapid the learning
- Prompting:A procedure in which a stimulus is provided in addition to antecedent to evoke the targeted / correct response
- Fading:behavior modification procedure in which behavior that are initially prompted are gradually withdrawn
- Chaining:Breaking of complex behavior into sequence of easy sequence of behavior. e.g. wearing a shirt
- Shaping:it is the procedure in which one systematically reinforces successive approximations of a target behavior while extinguishing previous approximations. E.g. language development; babbling.
- Generalization:one a child learn a skill we consider it generalized if the child is able to perform the skill across new and novel situation. All of the skills that the child learns will learn should be flexible and widely used in natural life situations.
- Children need to generalize across people, Settings, Stimuli and responses
- Incidental teaching
Incidental teaching is a method of instruction that make use of opportunities that arise in child’s daily life to create a teaching moment
Who are ABA certified professionals to work?
A qualified applied behavior analyst is a licensed clinical therapist with additional training and experience in applied behavior analysis.
A board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) provides ABA therapy services. Behavior analyst examines the cause and consequences of behavior and they are certified professionals to work with children and people having behavioral issues.
The BCBA certifications have certain requirements like a master degree or PhD and to pass a certification exam from Behavior Analyst Certification Board (to learn more about the certifications go to Behavior Analyst certification board https://www.bacb.com/).
The BACB offers a doctoral designation for Board Certified Behavior Analysts with doctoral training in behavior analysis — Board Certified Behavior Analyst-DoctoralTM (BCBA-DTM).
An RBT works in the supervision of a BCBA and is a 40 hour RBT training developed and conducted by BACB. RBT applicant must have 18 years of education. To get RBT credentials an RBT competency assessment is the basic criteria
along with clinical supervision by a BCBA or BCaBA. The RBT assessment has to be done by a BCBA certified professional upon
completion of40-hour training.
The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) offer certifications and masters’ degree to professionals working with special needs. For more details about the courses, certifications and degrees click on the following link click here
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This Article is Written By Anum Farooq
- Co-Founder & Organizer: PsychologyClinix.com
- Clinical Psychologist
- ABA therapist
- Affiliated with NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF MEDICAL SCIENCES and AUTISM RESOURCE CENTER ISLAMABAD
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