APPLIED BEHAVIOUR ANALYSIS
There is considerable empirical evidence that early intensive ABA intervention produces large and lasting functional improvements in many children with autism. ABA therapy is well-documented as the most valid method of improving overall functioning in children with autism (Fein, Barton, Eigsti, Kelley, Naigels, Schultz, Stevens, Helt, Orinstein, Rosenthal, Troyb and Tyson).
Regardless of where your child or teen falls on the autism spectrum, we can design and implement an individualised, comprehensive behavioural and educational program that addresses the individual needs of each client with Autism.
Through our ABA therapy we can help your child with Autism in the overall improvement in daily functioning. The right therapy for children with Autism can help dramatically when it comes to personal growth and overall well-being.
The goal of ABA therapy is to increase your child’s independent daily functioning skills while reducing unwanted behaviours. A child attending ABA therapy learns new skills in the following domains: social – emotional skills, cognition, play skills, imitation, receptive language, expressive language, adaptive skills, fine motor and gross motor skills, executive functioning, behaviour, self-regulation, personal independence, reading, counting, handwriting, as well as daily living skills such as eating, dressing, hand washing, toileting and many more. To strengthen long-range networks, a good behaviour intervention plan must avoid over-repetition of discrete trial tasks. The acquired new skills must be immediately expanded and generalized to new contexts.
ABA Therapists at ITCA completed the Registered Behaviour Technician (RBT) certification training, required by the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board (BACB) to provide behaviour therapy. They implement behaviour intervention plan designed by a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) under the strict guidelines of BACB. ABA Therapists at ITCA use a blended approach based on the most effective techniques of ABA and developmental and relationship – based models of intervention. Some are trained in the evidence-based methods such as NET, PRT, DTT, PECS and assessments, such as VB- MAPPS, ABLLS-R, EESA.
ABA intervention begins with an initial assessment during the first 3 sessions, conducted by BCBA and ABA therapist with a child and parent/guardian present. This assessment offers the ability to obtain important baseline information, help guide intervention and provide a guide for appropriate therapy goals. During the intake process important information is gathered about the child in the following areas: language and communication, social and play skills, self-help and daily living skills, maladaptive behaviors, self-stimulatory behaviors, academic behaviors, motivating reinforcers and interests of the child. The assessment includes a record review, interview with a parent, video footage with a parental consent, client observation and rating scales. Following the initial assessment, the ABA therapy plan for 6 months is developed by BCBA. The plan is implemented by the ABA therapist during the sessions and is closely monitored by BCBA.
Parents need to acknowledge that in order for the ABA therapy to bring results, a child needs to attend sessions regularly and as intensive as possible and parents should carry over the activities at home and in the community settings.
Functional Behaviour Assessment
Perhaps the most significant advancement in the assessment of severe, maladaptive behaviour disorders, including autism, has been in the area of Functional Analysis. Functional Analysis is considered “best practice” for identifying causes of behaviour problems such as self-injury, aggression, self-stimulatory behaviors and non-compliance. This is considered a vital part of an ABA program. It gives a tremendous amount of information that can guide behaviour interventions and treatment. When behaviour and management of problem behaviours are the primary focus, the functional behaviour assessment provides focused analysis of the specific problem behaviours, environments, and antecedents and consequences that are in effect. This is the process of determining the cause (or “function”) of behaviour before developing an intervention. Interventions must be based on the hypothesized cause (function) of behaviour in order to be effective, and failure to base the intervention on the specific cause (function) very often results in ineffective and unnecessarily restrictive procedures.