Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) have specialized training in the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to address behaviors that interfere with daily living. Such problems may impact one’s personal relationships, school achievement, work success, and/or family dynamics. ABA is a scientific, research-based method that addresses such behaviors. ABA focuses on the positive aspects of one’s behaviors while working to minimize the negative effects of other behaviors. This is accomplished by using direct instruction, natural environment training, social skills training, and positive reinforcement. These methods are effective for people of all ages, with or without diagnosed disabilities. ABA has been proven especially effective for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other related neurological disorders. For more information, go to www.bacb.com. Below are some videos about Applied Behavior Analysis
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A notable treatment approach for people with behavioral problems, including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Attention Deficit Disorder, is called applied behavior analysis (ABA). ABA has become widely accepted among health care professionals and used in many schools and treatment clinics. ABA encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative behaviors in order to improve a variety of skills. The person’s progress is tracked and measured. There are different types of ABA. Following are some examples:
Discrete Trial Training (DTT)--one-on-one, structured instruction using a series of trials to teach each step of a desired behavior or response. This usually takes place in an environment relatively free of distractions with the client in a ready-to learn posture (hands in lap, feet on floor, quiet mouth).
Natural Environment Training (NET)--teaching that takes place in everyday situations. Opportunities are taken to integrate new skills or skills learned during DTT into situations that occur more naturally. This helps clients to generalize skills into settings other than the original learning environment.
Social Skills Training (SST)--breaking down complex social behaviors into smaller parts and explicitly teaching them to clients. These skills are taught individually or in groups using techniques, such as direct instruction, modeling, role-playing, shaping, feedback, and reinforcement of positive interactions.
Verbal Behavior Therapy--instruction that focuses on teaching verbal skills. This is beneficial to all clients who struggle verbally—from those who are non-verbal to those who find it difficult to engage in conversations. Types of verbal skills addressed are mands (requests), tacts (labels), echoics (being able to repeat what someone says), intraverbals (filling in sentences and answering questions), and conversational skills.
Positive Reinforcement--looking for positive skills that are in the client’s repertoire and giving them immediate and valuable reinforcement. This is also a technique used during DTT and NET to reward correct answers and behaviors. Reinforcers come in the form of food, toys, favored activities, social praise, tokens, etc.
Analysis and Intervention for Maladaptive Behaviors--used to determine the purpose of a given problem behavior and what might be continuing to give it value. A plan is then made to decrease the behavior while replacing it with a more appropriate behavior that serves the same purpose.
Errorless Learning--a method of teaching new skills that avoids allowing the client to make mistakes or give incorrect answers. During the acquisition of new skills, the client is prompted to make correct responses. Therefore, the client is reinforced for correct answers rather than giving any attention to incorrect responses.