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What is ABA?

What is ABA Therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the application of behavioral principles to solve problems of social significance. This means that the application of these principles can work to increase appropriate skills or decrease the presence of inappropriate behaviors that will improve the overall quality of life. Some common areas of focus are communication skills, language skills, play skills, social skills, self-care skills and the reduction of behaviors that impede the ability to acquire skills such as aggression, self-injurious behaviors and self-stimulatory behaviors. The principles of ABA therapy are derived from years of research that has shown to be effective in the treatment of the characteristics or defecits of autism and other related behavioral disorders.

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ABA Therapy utilizes data to make decisions.

Progress towards treatment goals are monitored closely by behavior analysts through the collection and analysis of data collected during treatment. As an individual demonstrates progress towards goals through the analysis of data, treatment goals are updated or interventions are faded out to increase the independence of the individual.

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ABA Therapy is comprised of many behavioral principles and components.

At Spectrum of Hope, we do not just employee one strategy or ‘type’ of ABA, but design interventions that are based on the most current research that utilize an abundance of principles/components.

Some common components of ABA programs:

  • Reinforcement
  • Prompting
  • Antecedent manipulation
  • Natural environment teaching
  • and many more…
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ABA Therapy is effective and considered the gold standard for autism treatment.

ABA is comprised of many behavioral principles and components. At Spectrum of Hope, we do not just employee one strategy or ‘type’ of ABA, but design interventions that are based on the most current research that utilize an abundance of principles/components.

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ABA Therapy has been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Surgeon General for its effectiveness with individuals with autism.

The principles of ABA therapy are derived from years of research that has shown to be effective in the treatment of the characteristics or defecits of autism and other related behavioral disorders.

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ABA programs are designed by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst following a comprehensive assessment.

Following a skills assessment and/or a behavioral assessment, the BCBA will develop specific treatment goals that are individualized based on the specific needs of the individual incorporating their strengths, preferences, and family input.

Common areas for treatment goals:

  • Communication and language skills
  • Social skills
  • Play skills
  • Self-care skills
  • Reduction of inappropriate behaviors

Treatment goals are broken down into smaller steps and build upon previous steps to achieve an overall goal. (Example: Initially teaching an individual to request using one word to ultimately carrying on a conversation. Another example would be teaching an individual to attend to an activity for 30 seconds to ultimately engaging in a social activity with a peer for an extended duration of time.)

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ABA treatments and strategies are individualized for each client.

Each individual’s behavior is analyzed and modified according to the individual’s specific needs and abilities. There is no treatment or strategy that will work with every person, therefore behavior analysts tailor treatment approaches and teaching strategies so that they are effective for the individual.

The amount of ABA that is recommended for an individual varies based on specific needs and interventions required. Research typically supports a minimum of 25 hours per week up to 40 hours per week a year.

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ABA Therapy involves the entire family unit.

Parent involvement is a huge component of ABA treatment. Parents are a part of the treatment team and can provide information to the BCBA and treatment team that helps to guide the treatment plan.

Parents should also receive training in the principles of ABA and in specifics of their child’s treatment plan in order to make sure that learned skills carry over to other environments.

Understanding ABA principles and training should not stop at just the parents. Caregivers, siblings and other professionals that are highly involved in the care of the individual should also be involved.