In the world of social work, we employ countless techniques and therapies to support marginalized groups of people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. In the educational world, ABA is considered the “gold standard” for autism treatment.
What is ABA?
ABA is abbreviated for Applied Behavior Analysis. It is considered the best practice for teaching children, teens, and young adults dealing with autism and related developmental disorders involving communication skills, memory, and overall challenges with social skills.
ABA is behavioral engineering and is used as a scientific technique to apply experimental approaches based upon the principles of the respondent and operant conditioning with the goal of changing the behavior of social significance. In other words, ABA is a form of experimenting with an individual’s current social skills to bring about improvements.
How does ABA work?
ABA treatment itself is flexible and is typically adjusted to fit the needs of the individual’s social development and environment. Parents can practice the techniques with their children at home. ABA also requires individualized, direct instruction and group instruction.
The overall goal of ABA is to teach functional skills for everyday life. Positive words and reinforcement are encouraged in this format as this positivity helps accomplish a goal. For example, if a student wants to play with a toy in the classroom and is struggling to focus on instruction, it may work best to hold the toy nearby, continue giving verbal positive reinforcements, and when the student has worked hard for five minutes, she may play with the toy. This will motivate the student toward accomplishing a goal and make them focus harder on the lesson to get the reward at the end.
What Does an ABA Program Involve?
Good ABA programs for autism and diverse learners are not by any means a “one size fits all” learning plan. ABA should not be viewed as a canned set of drills. Rather, each program is created at the iCan Dream Center to meet the needs of the individual student. The goal of the iCan Dream Center ABA program is to support students in becoming more independent and successful in reaching academic goals. Our goals for students at the iCan Dream Center are ambitious. But, with repetition and consistency, they are attainable.