Applied Behavioral Analysis, or ABA, is one of the most effective modern scientific approaches to changing behavior in people with autism. With an abundance of different techniques and strategies that can be tailored to each individual, it requires attention from teachers, therapists, and family. One of the more common questions asked is ‘what are ABA teaching strategies’, and this is especially pertinent to homeschooling in 2020.
Read below as we outline some overall ABA strategies and how you can apply them at home.
ABA teaching strategies aim to develop habits via reinforcement. There are many techniques, and the most prominent ones focus on consistency in both stimulus and outcome.
Like many cues in the world of a student with autism, consistency and routine are paramount to the learning environment. ABA teaching strategies are based around this, but look to hone in on specific behavioral areas that can be addressed to create a stronger overall foundation for the student.
Like most behavioral therapies, there is no one-size-fits-all method for your student. That’s why when creating a homeschool plan, you should consistently work with the therapists familiar with these ABA techniques in order to keep up with your child’s needs.
As you work with a plan developed by the clinic and teachers, you must be aware of the methods and goals. Part of implementation and data collection in ABA while homeschooling is knowing why these teaching methods are chosen for your child vs. other ones. Here are some of the most common teaching strategies used in modern ABA teaching:
PRT is meant to help with improving core skills and other pivotal responses. The breakdown of one cue at a time, such as restraint, or motivation is a key doctrine of PRT. PRT is an entirely child-lead practice. It allows the child to take the lead, going off of what they find reinforcing and allowing that natural motivation to take over.
Natural Environment Teaching, or NET, is a method of teaching that uses the natural environment to create and enhance learning opportunities. For example, if you teach your child to label items by color at a table, you can then take this skill and adapt it to the natural environment, asking them for the ‘green’ crayon while coloring with your child.
This is a form of motivation for learners that defines an outcome as a reward — something that can be tangibly given or taken. Reinforcement ensures that the behavior, desired or undesired, will occur again in the future. Rule of thumb, if you like it and want to see it again, reinforce it!
When employing these or any other ABA teaching strategy at home, we encourage considering the long-term developmental goal of the method as you work with your child.
Regardless of what ABA teaching strategies are recommended for your homeschool sessions, the most important thing is being consistent. While home (and school from home) can provide a level of comfort, the methods must be able to be taught across multiple settings, including the clinic, school, and in the community.
This is because it is likely that your student will end up in other classrooms throughout their educational careers and because cues need to be demonstrated outside of teaching. While ABA and most behavioral therapies have to be immersive in a classroom setting, their goal is to develop a child’s behavior in full.
A great way to have your student practice consistently and with proper data verification is working first at home, and then with your provider. The change in setting will be subtle and a good step to applying the developed behaviors, and from there, your child can employ their new routines in everyday life.
This comes as no surprise due to how much routine can positively affect behavior. Checking in with the clinic, teachers, and therapists will be essential to make sure you all are on the same page.
The selection of teaching strategies is pivotal for homeschool success, and this begins with choosing a quality clinic to work with. At Ally Pediatric Therapy, we pride ourselves on employing top practitioners in ABA therapy and focusing on making each individual curriculum the best it can be for every student.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can provide a quality homeschool education for your student, please reach out today.