Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is an evidence based treatment acknowledged by the American Psychological Association that helps children with neurodevelopmental disorders learn appropriate and functional behaviors and overcome challenging behaviors. Since children’s profiles and needs are all different, programming is highly individualized and comprehensive so each child can benefit from treatment. What’s more, the child’s performance is assessed on a regular basis through observations, consultations and interviews to ensure learned skills are transferred to his or her home, community and educational settings.
When is ABA therapy suitable for my child?
ABA therapy can benefit children who are not meeting their developmental milestones. Relative to their typically developing peers some or many of the following challenges may be present:
- Unable to pay attention for sustained periods
- Doesn't acquire skills from the natural environment
- Dependent on others for self help skills
- Struggles to emit letter sounds, words or phrases
- Does not demonstrate eye contact
- Does not respond to name
- Does not respond to social bids
- Demonstrates rigidities in play and routines
- Unaware of their social environment
- Refuses to be around their peers
- Doesn't listen to instructions
- Has difficulty remembering instructions
- Repeats movements, sounds or play with objects
- Engages in aggression
- Engages in self injurious behavior
To deliver comprehensive treatment the following domains are addressed:
- Demonstrates problems with learning
- Self help
- Speech and communication
- Emotion regulation
Therapeutic practices employed include but are not limited to:
- Antecedent-based Interventions
- Differential Reinforcement of Alternative, Incompatible or Other Behavior
- Discrete Trial Teaching
- Functional Communication Training
- Naturalistic Teaching
- Teaching Interactions
Initial consultation. Prior to beginning intervention initial consultation will be held with the parents to get a comprehensive picture of the child's challenges and thus better assess the child's needs.
note: If the child's needs are outside the expertise of the therapist or is better suited with another professional the therapist will inform the parents and provide referrals where possible.
Direct interaction with the child. Following the initial consultation the therapist engages with the child for 1 hour. This interaction allows the therapist to gauge the child's interests, skill repertoire, behavioral deficits and excesses and social interest.
Goal setting. Once the therapist forms a more accurate picture of the child through direct interaction she sets out the short term and long term goals and determines treatment intensity necessary to achieve those goals. Treatment intensity can range from 10 to 30 hours a week depending on variables including the number of goals, form and level of interfering behaviors and caregiver training needs.
Intervention. Once intervention begins the child's performance is carefully assessed on a routine basis to determine behavioral change in both the therapeutic and natural environment. Parent involvement is highly encouraged and programs are flexibly adjusted to ensure progress.
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