ABA refers to the use of behavior principles to handle everyday situations with the aim of decreasing or increasing a targeted behavior. The situation will determine how this will translate into practical application. However, each ABA program has similar components, including discrete trial teaching, prompting strategies, natural environment reinforcement, and outcome-based decision-making.
“ABA refers to the use of behavior
principles to handle everyday situations
with the aim of decreasing or increasing
a targeted behavior.”
Discrete trial teaching
This term refers to the breaking down of a task into smaller and more manageable parts and teaching each part separately. Your child is given a cue to which he responds and a reward for every correct response. The cue, known as discriminative stimulus, refers to a specific environmental condition or event that demonstrates a certain behavior.
Such situations happen in everyday life for developing kids. However, children with autism may lack a few skills, which make it hard for them to interact with their peers. This training addresses these underlying deficits to increase your child’s ability to respond appropriately in social situations.
The trademark of discrete trial lies in the breaking down of almost any skill into small, discrete parts so that the weaker areas can be identified and strengthened.
Natural environment reinforcement
When you think of reinforcement, what comes to mind are the things that you like. In terms of behavior therapy, the term refers to the support of a behavior using stimuli to increase it over time. In the ABA program, every child’s reinforcement tends to vary widely.
Each program needs to include a reinforcer assessment, which should be reviewed frequently over time to note any changes in your child’s preferences. The reinforcer is usually built on activities and things that motivate your child. There is negative and positive reinforcement.
Negative reinforcement refers to the taking away of an undesired stimulus. When you take away this stimulus over time, the target behavior should increase. When it comes to behavioral strategies, the opposite of reinforcement is punishment.
However, this does not necessarily mean spankings or the use of restraints. It refers to the decrement of targeted behavior after the removal or introduction of aversive consequences. In punishment procedures, a few techniques are used, including response cost when targeted behavior occurs and time out from preferred activities and items.
What sets this therapy apart from any other intervention is its dependence on objective information to come up with programming decisions. Any ABA intervention needs to be evaluated on a regular basis to see its effectiveness through the analysis of the collected data.
For this reason, it is critical for everyone in the ABA team to know the right criteria for responding and for the therapists stay consistent when collecting data.
According to one of the ABA therapy Detroit based professionals, ABA team members need to know how to think critically about the tactics used and recognize that slow progress or lack of it is not your child’s fault. For this reason, you should choose the best therapists available.
There are quite a few prompting strategies but the most common one used is known as prompting hierarchies: least-to most and most-to-least. The latter is used when a child is learning a skill for the first time: this initial trial is prompted with a very intrusive prompt that can achieve this skill successfully.
After the first trial, the second one uses a less intrusive prompt, which is reinforced. The least-to-most tactic is used once your child shows the ability to achieve a task successfully. No matter which strategy you use, you need to remember to fade the prompt as fast as possible.
Moreover, you should also remember to reinforce the responses that need less prompting in a differential manner.
About the Author
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