What is ABA??

Someone on the Brillkid forum asked the question, What is ABA? She had read about it on my blog and I realized I never went into much detail about it.
ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis, and from what I have been told, it is the only “scientifically” proven effect therapy for autism. Now I know a lot of parents with argue, will this worked for my child, etc. The reason ABA is scientifcally proven is because of the AMAZING records that need to be kept. For every trial, the results are taken, every behavior is charted, etc, etc. So they have the records to prove what plan is working and which isn’t by looking at the behavior graphs.
Good Old Wikipedia defines ABA as:

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the science of controlling and predicting human behavior. Behavior analysts reject the use of hypothetical constructs[1] and focus on the observable relationship of behavior to the environment. By functionally assessing the relationship between a targeted behavior and the environment, the methods of ABA can be used to change that behavior. Research in applied behavior analysis ranges from behavioral intervention methods to basic research which investigates the rules by which humans adapt and maintain behavior.

ABA is defined as the science in which the principles of the analysis of behavior are applied systematically to improve socially significant behavior, and in which experimentation is used to identify the variables responsible for change in behavior.[17] It is one of the three fields of behavior analysis. The other two are behaviorism, or the philosophy of the science; and experimental analysis of behavior, or basic experimental research

Now this is the exact description quoted from the Centre that runs my son’s ABA program

The Preschool ABA Program works collaboratively in partnership with our clients’ families and caregivers to provide sound, effective ABA-supported educational programs based on the provincial curriculum followed by the schools. Our main activities are detailed below.
Assessments

Children are assessed on several measures upon intake and yearly thereafter. Results are used to determine learning goals an
Preschool ABA Program Activities
d to assess progress.
Application of learning principles

ABA Consultants design teaching programs that include the application of behavioural principles and procedures. The ABA Consultants ensure the outcomes of teaching strategies are continually monitored and change strategies if needed. They also ensure progress is demonstrated through the summary of data and production of summary graphs and break down teaching into achievable sub-goals. They also ensure prompting techniques are used to encourage independent responding and make learning rewarding, reinforcing when appropriate.
One-to-one teaching sessions

Children receive two ABA sessions every day, typically delivered by two tutors. Each session is 3-3.5 hours long. Every two weeks, the child receives one half-day off.
Clinic meetings

Meetings are led by ABA consultants every 2-4 weeks or every 2-3 months in rural areas. All team members participate to discuss current programming, successes and challenges.
Overlaps

The senior tutor provides training and supervision sessions to tutors and parents every 2-4 weeks, except in distant rural areas.

Challenging behaviour support

Behaviour Analysts specialize in supporting the improvement of challenging behaviour. Behavioural intervention plans and procedural recommendations are based on outcomes of functional assessment and analysis of challenging behaviours.

Promoting and ensuring parental involvement

Families are an integral part of their child’s education and have a significant role in supporting the ABA programs. Parents have a commitment to provide five hours of ABA programming to their children.

Annual review meetings

Families attend an annual review meeting where their child’s progress is reviewed and future goals are discussed.

One MAJOR thing with how well ABA works is parental involvement. Sadly from what I hear from our tutors, is a lot of parents us this as a form of babysitting. They have given up hope for their child and use this as a break from the craziness of living with an Autistic child. When I hear this, it breaks my heart. I can’t image the pain the parents must feel when they have lost all hope for their child. The stress this must cause for them. Also for the child. Maybe they can improve, maybe even be cured, but you have to try. I feel for that child who is trapped in his or her own world. It also makes me thank my lucky stars that my child has responded so nicely to ABA and all the other things we have been doing with him. Our tutors were saying, the children that do well have parents who work with there child. Who are commited to their childs recovery. The ABA team is important, but in the end like Glenn Doman says over and over again. Your childs best teacher is his mother and father.
For our family, I am crumby when it comes to record taking, so our reading and math homeschooling count as our ABA parent hours. I’m proud to say because of our ABA team, my son developed over 700 skills in one year. This is unheard of.
Anyhow I hope this clears up alot of questions. But if you have more please feel free to ask me 🙂
Monique

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