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What is ABA

What is ABA Therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA Therapy, is a scientifically validated method of teaching, managing, and reducing behaviors. ABA uses an approach that focuses on understanding behaviors and how those behaviors are affected by the environment.  A BCBA, or Board Certified Behavior Analyst, is an individual who has been certified to implement and oversee ABA therapy. This certification is recognized worldwide and is the gold standard in the field for professionals.

ABA covers a very large umbrella of different types of teaching procedures to implement the principles across a variety of different environments. ABA focuses on three main components: antecedent, behavior, and consequence. An antecedent is an event that occurs right before a behavior.  Behavior is the response, (or lack of it in some cases), and the consequence is an event that occurs immediately after the response with the intention of increasing or decreasing the likelihood of the behavior occurring in the future. There are several different approaches that are used to address behaviors in the field of ABA. These approaches include Pivotal Response Teaching, Discrete Trial Training, Verbal Behavior, and Natural Environment Teaching.

Pivotal Response Treatment

Pivotal Response Treatment is an evidence-based treatment that is frequently used for children with autism. The focus of this approach was to increase “pivotal” skills a child would need to be successful. Those areas include motivation, responding to multiple cues, and initiating social interactions. Pivotal Response Treatment is a large part of the Early Start Denver Model approach that is implemented at The Missing Peace.

Discrete Trial Training

Discrete Trial Training, or DTT, focuses on teaching a skill in structured, simple steps. As opposed to teaching a large complex skill as one large task the skill is broken down and taught separately and then built upon.

Verbal Behavior

Verbal Behavior is an approach to teaching communication using the principles of ABA in addition to the work of B.F. Skinner. The method behind verbal behavior is to teach language based on this function. Verbal Behavior has shown to be highly successful in children with autism when combined with other therapy approaches such as Discrete Trial Training.

Natural Environment Training

Natural Environment Training is an ABA approach in which teaching trials happen within the natural environment, such as when playing, at the dinner table, or while at the store. This approach focuses on a child’s immediate interests and activities and uses those motivations to guide the teaching session.

School Liaison Services

Confused and overwhelmed about the special education process in schools? 

Learn more about our:

Pre-ARD preparation and review

ARD meeting attendance

ARD support service packages

Areas of guidance include:

  • The autism supplement

  • Least restrictive environments

  • Understanding special Services

  • ARD process

Service Packages

  • ARD meeting attendance is $75 per hour.

  • Initial ARD review and consultation: 
    Submit initial ARD assessments and paperwork for the BCBA to review the information and make recommendations prior to the ARD meeting (Up to 2 hours meeting) $250.

  • Annual ARD consultation:
    Submit ARD documents for the BCBA to review the information and make recommendations prior to the ARD meeting (Up to 2 hours meeting) $150.

  • On-site training:
    Training with all the material provided for up to 50 attendees. Topics include Special education 101, What is autism? What is ABA and evidence-based practices (2 hours training) $250.

  • Customized training is available upon request for an additional fee.

School Servies

Whom can ABA help? 

  • Autism

  • Asperger’s Syndrome

  • Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

  • Developmental Disabilities

  • Problem Behaviors

  • Tantrum Behavior

  • Noncompliance

  • Physical Aggression

  • Self-Injurious Behaviors

Who can provide ABA therapy? 

ABA Therapy is provided by a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) or a BCaBA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst).

How often should ABA Therapy be done? 

ABA Therapy is an intensive intervention based on the client’s needs. Programs can range from 10 to 40 hours a week based on the skill sets being addressed and the severity of the problem behaviors. Research has supported the more hours of intensive intervention a client receives increases the effectiveness of ABA. A BCBA will be able to determine the recommended hours needed after a full assessment.

What is autism? 

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped behavior patterns. Autistic disorder, sometimes called autism or classical ASD, is the most severe form of ASD, while other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form known as Asperger syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS).

What are the signs of Autism? 

The hallmark feature of ASD is impaired social interaction. As early as infancy, a baby with ASD may be unresponsive to people or focus intently on one item to the exclusion of others for long periods of time. A child with ASD may appear to develop normally and then withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement.

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