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Everything You Should Know About Autism Behavior Intervention (ABA Therapy)

In order to help your child or loved one with autism learn and grow, a unique ABA framework and scope of therapy is paramount. Within this ABA treatment plan, having specific autism behavior interventions for a multitude of scenarios will help promote positive changes and dissuade certain negative behaviors.

If you are wondering how to apply these behavioral interventions for autism, read our handy guide of what ABA practices produce the best results. Hopefully, it will help you, your family, and your support group employ the correct treatments for behaviors you would like to see improvement in.

How Do You Modify Behaviors with ABA Therapy?

ABA therapy is also known as behavioral modification, and this is because it uses specific protocols to address behaviors. Either can be applied to increase desired behaviors or cut out undesired behaviors, based on the needs of your child and family.

For example, a therapist might use pivotal response treatment in social settings to teach positive interactions by rewarding functional requests for a toy. Similarly, if the goal would be to remove undesirable outbursts from a child, a quality ABA therapist would create a specific plan to reinforce and increase the appropriate behavior.

Teacher teaching a student

If your child’s ABA program is looking to increase certain behaviors or maintain others (like imitation skills), a therapist might utilize discrete trial teaching. DTT is the methodology of using arbitrary reinforcement to teach discrete skills through mass trials. Eventually, as your child strengthens each of these individual skills, they will have an overall stronger area of their life.

Including the teaching methods we have mentioned, here are some of the most common ABA behavioral interventions:

  1. Reinforcement: Focuses on increasing behavior and can be done within a variety of programs and contexts. Natural or arbitrary reinforcement may be used depending on the individualization of your child’s programs.
  2. Task Analysis: Your child, their home environment, and their behaviors affected by ASD are all unique. Thus, looking at physical actions, their repetitions, cognitive actions, and many other behavioral actions will go into task analysis before breaking them down into smaller discrete steps to improve on. The number of steps in each task analysis will be dependent on your child and the behavior, but each step is taught individually and chained together to complete the more complex tasks.

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  1. Generalization: This is the practice of taking one particular skill that your child has learned in a clinic or at home and applying it across novel settings. It works as a multiple-party street; if you, your support group, and your child are all aware that flashcards (for example) work to teach a behavior well, your child could then look for flashcards to be a consistent learning mechanism with other people and novel situations.
  2. Pivotal Response Treatment: PRT is a naturalistic intervention model used to reinforce desirable behaviors that will be contained in specific areas of development, such as motivation, social reactions, or self-management.

There are many more dynamic behavioral interventions that a BCBA can and will apply to your child’s program. The great part about ABA is your child’s support group will be able to analyze each behavior and treatment to see what is working best and adjust as necessary.

What is a Behavior Intervention?

ABA modifies behavior to teach new behavior to help bridge deficits in development or reduce challenging and undesired behaviors. This is done through individualized treatment plans based on the results of developmental assessments.

Examples of this would be social deficits, self-injurious behaviors, or learning deficiencies. Using any of the most common ABA interventions to correct these, your therapist will create specific programs.

When to Use Autism Behavior or ABA Strategies?

The short answer is that ABA strategies should become the natural way in which you interact with your child since the treatment plan is specific to your child and family. Generalization and other components of ABA should allow your child to then exist more naturally in almost every environment they encounter.

Teacher Teaching a student to read

Ultimately, a quality BCBA will design a treatment package to encompass all of your child’s needs. Most importantly, your child and family will be able to incorporate these changed behaviors to and assist your child in reaching his/her full potential.

Learn More About Autism Treatment at Ally Pediatric Therapy

At Ally Pediatric Therapy, we’ve spent decades honing our ABA practice in order to best provide families the opportunity to thrive. We understand how stressful ASD can be on an entire household, and the use of behavioral interventions in everyday life can improve undesirable outcomes rapidly.

If you are looking to take a step in the right direction for you and your child, please reach out. We’d love allies in your support group that builds a better life for your family.