About ABA Therapy
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an evidence-based treatment based on the science of learning and behavior. ABA has been utilized to help those with autism and related developmental disorders for over five decades.
ABA applies our understanding of why behavior occurs to real-world situations. This methodology works to increase helpful behaviors and decrease detrimental ones.
ABA has been used to help all types of learners gain various skills because it is meant to meet the unique needs of each individual. Sessions can take place in different locations, including your home, at our center, at your child’s school, or in your community. ABA can also take place in a one-on-one or group setting.
The ABA Process
One of the primary strategies used in ABA is positive reinforcement. When positive reinforcement follows a behavior, that behavior is more likely to be repeated. Over time, this promotes a behavior change. First, a BCBA identifies a behavior to teach, or increase. Then, every time behavior happens successfully, positive reinforcement is provided for doing that behavior, in the form of an agreed-upon reward. The reward will be meaningful to the individual receiving it – for example, it could be praise, a toy, watching a video, access to the playground, or anything meaningful to the individual.
However, before we can use positive reinforcement to encourage particular behaviors we must first understand what happens before a behavior occurs (the antecedent) and what happens after (the consequence).
An antecedent is what happens just before the target behavior and potentially causes the behavior. The antecedent event may be verbal or physical, such as a request, light, sound, or anything else in the environment. An antecedent can originate from the environment, another person, or internally, such as a thought or a feeling.
The resulting behavior is a person’s response or lack of response to the antecedent. It can be an action, a verbal reaction, or something else.
A consequence is what happens directly after the behavior and contributes to the likelihood of that behavior occurring again in the future. It may include positive reinforcement of the desired behavior or no response for inappropriate behavior. Examining the antecedent, behavior, and consequence together can help us understand why a behavior could be happening and how different consequences could alter that behavior in the future.
All ABA from Connect Plus Therapy is unique and specific to an individual’s needs and goals. We strive to help our clients work on the skills that will help them become independent and successful. A highly qualified and trained behavior analyst (BCBA) designs and oversees the program. The BCBA begins the process by performing a detailed assessment of each person’s skills and preferences. This is used to write specific treatment goals and can include family goals and priorities as well. Goals are written based on the age and ability of the person with ASD and will be segmented into small, concrete steps. A Behavior Therapist teaches each step one by one, from simple to more complex. Parents, family members, and caregivers receive training to support learning and skill practice throughout the day. Together, the BCBA and BT measure progress by collecting data during each session. This data helps them monitor progress, plan, and adjust teaching plans and goals.