Applied Behavior Analysis

What is ABA?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a systematic process based on principles of learning theory and is used to make meaningful changes to behavior. ABA is considered best practice for the treatment of autism and serves as a foundation for all the services provided by Ally Pediatric Therapy. Many facets of your child’s behavior can be improved, including but not limited to:

While ABA is commonly associated with autism therapy its applications are much broader. ABA is also used successfully with other childhood diagnoses as well as typically developing children and adults. Research has shown that broadening the scope of ABA beyond the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder increases collaboration with other professionals and yields positive results (Matson & Nebel-Schwalm, 2007; Ross, 2007).

The objective of each ABA session is to work towards mastery of each objective listed on the individualized treatment plan. ABA sessions can include a variety of teaching methodologies including, but not limited to, Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT), Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT), Natural Environment Teaching (NET), behavior management, crisis intervention, etc. These teaching methodologies allow information to be presented in a systematic manner, providing more opportunities for your child to learn skills.

 


 

Our Approach to ABA

Every child is unique. Their treatment should be too. We believe in a blended approach of ABA methodologies, which allows us to utilize the most effective approach based on each child’s learning style and needs.

PRT and DTT are both beneficial teaching methodologies with useful applications. Every behavior technician at Ally Pediatric Therapy will achieve and maintain proficiency in both methodologies, allowing the technician to use the approach best suited to the skills being taught and the motivation of the child.

 

 

We use The PEAK Relational Training System as an evaluation tool and curriculum guide to teaching language skills to children with autism and childhood disorders. PEAK, which stands for Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge, enhances the traditional behavior analytic approach by supporting the development of a comprehensive verbal repertoire, including more complex nuances of the human language. The PEAK system incorporates strategies that help to teach your child to use and understand abstract language, read novel expressions, and decode the meaning of words in the context of the situation.

In Addition to PEAK, we also utilize we also utilize the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP), Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS) and/or Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS) as appropriate.

 


 

Social Skills Groups

We offer Social Skills Groups to improve your child’s social development. Each group will target an area of development pertaining to your child’s age, including:

Groups will be led by a Behavior Technician and a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant. Each participant will have 3-5 individual goals based on the results of the Social Skills Improvement System completed during the initial assessment. The facilitators will take data throughout the duration of each six-week session. At the end of the final session, a post-assessment will be completed and the goals and data are presented to demonstrate your child’s progress. The ratio of staff to participants for groups ranges from 2:10 to 2:12.

 


 

Benefits of a Center-Based Therapy Model

When considering ABA programs for their child, parents face many choices. One important choice is the location and setting for therapy. At Ally Pediatric Therapy, we believe that center-based treatment offers clear and important advantages over in-home treatment for the children we support.

Research demonstrates that participants attending a center-based program significantly increase the number of skills and/or targets learned in each hour of treatment. In one study, twice as many learning objectives were mastered per hour when compared with in-home treatment.

A center allows for greater control over the environment, enabling children to learn more effectively during their sessions and improving the quality of parent education. Center-based treatment also allows children to interact with unfamiliar staff and peers, increasing generalization of learned skills.

Staff training and supervision also plays a critical role in the quality of a program. Research shows that the frequency and quality of supervision is tied directly to program outcomes. A center-based program allows for more frequent and higher quality supervision, which promotes higher rates of mastered targets and skills for each client.


 

An Illustrative Day in Our Center

 

Note: Each child is different and each day will look different depending on the individual needs of the child. This example is presented to illustrate what a day could look like.