How ABA Therapy Works
ABA therapy, also known as Applied Behavior Analysis, is a method of therapy that improves social and communication skills in children with Autism or other developmental disorders. It even has a history of being used with dementia, eating disorders, anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, and anger issues. ABA therapy is scientifically proven to be an effective treatment according to the American Psychological Association. Accel Therapies is a home-based Autism program in the DFW area that provides ABA therapy. With our many years of experience, we have developed high-quality programs that will support your child to maximize his or her potential.
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How a Child is Evaluated
When it comes to evaluating a child using ABA therapy, there is no "one size fits all." Instead, a therapist will spend time evaluating each child's skills. They will customize an intervention. Parents/guardians will work closely with an ABA therapist in order to come up with a viable plan for their child.
Each child's struggles are different. For example, some children may struggle with social skills while others have difficulty with self-care.
The duration of ABA therapy can be anywhere from months to years, depending on the child. This treatment can be one-on-one or in a small group setting. During ABA, positive skills are reinforced, while negative ones are redirected.
ABA Therapy Examples & Techniques
This technique is used to reinforce positive behaviors. Children with social and learning disabilities may
have a difficult time responding to certain situations. As a result, when the child does something correctly,
this accomplishment should be celebrated and positively reinforced. A trained therapist will know the right tactics to encourage this behavior.
Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
With DTT, skills are broken up into smaller elements. Each discrete/distinct element will be introduced one
at a time to the child by the therapist. Positive reinforcement is then used to encourage each correct response.
This learning strategy takes what the child has already learned in one situation and applies it to another
situation. For example, using the preexisting skill of singing the alphabet to spell their name.
A behavior that is not acceptable should be corrected. A method used to correct unacceptable behavior is negative reinforcement. The child understands there are ramifications for that type of behavior. It is
important that this action is consistently taken so they understand if they behave a certain way, they will be negatively reinforced.
Prompting and Fading
A prompt is a visual/verbal cue. These cues will encourage a behavior. A visual cue can be a gesture, while a
verbal cue is a gentle reminder. When the child recognizes this cue, it is a reminder. These prompts are not
meant to be intimidating and should not be accusatory.
The therapist will give the child a task to perform. They will then observe how they perform it. The various
categories of analysis are physical attention, repetition, allocation, cognitive actions and environment.