Behavior analysis focuses on the principles that explain how learning takes place. ABA is simply the application of behavioral principles, to everyday situations, that will, over time, increase or decrease targeted behaviors. ABA has been used to help individuals acquire many different skills, such as language skills, self-help skills, and play skills; in addition, these principles can help to decrease maladaptive behaviors such as aggression, self-stimulatory behaviors, and self-injury
When a behavior is followed by some sort of reward, the behavior is more likely to be repeated and this is called positive reinforcement. Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning.
ABA is the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior. ABA is widely recognized as an effective therapy for individuals on the autism spectrum.
ABA uses Natural Environment teaching (NET) which is basically teaching the child and performing ABA in a natural setting. It is not sitting behind a school desk all day like typical children learning. Instead it is simply teaching the child during play. Natural environment teaching leads to an individual being able to learn skills in one environment and generalize them to other environments. It focuses on an individual’s specific needs and embeds them within the child's interests.
If I could give any bit of advice to new parents facing an autism diagnosis.....get your child in a good ABA program that utilizes NET as soon as you can if it is possible!!
Parents play a CRUCIAL role in their child's ABA program and how they respond. This is what one website said...
Parents are indispensable in the child’s program. They play a necessary and critical role. Studies show that children whose parents are actively engaged in the process make measurable gains (4). First, no one knows the child better than the parent; the parent’s provide critical and insightful information that will help guide the ABA program. Second, parents are able to continue to prompt and reinforce the child through his and her various daily activities - an essential component to generalizing skills. Finally, parents are in a position to be able to record and track ABC data in the home and community setting. This information is vital in hypothesizing the function (the “why”) of specific behaviors as well as for determining what conditions encourage behaviors to occur.
Trenton goes to Harsha Autism Center and we just love our team there! Lately, Trenton has been going out in the community. He goes to certain stores and he even goes to a restaurant and works on his goals!!! I am so thrilled about this part of his training. I have worked so hard the past few years implementing this myself and now we are doing some training with this through Harsha Autism Center. I am one excited Mom!!