With a belief that every individual has abilities beyond where they are, we, as a team,
assist in this journey of achieving their ultimate potential using proven methods.
History of ABA and Autism
Behavior Analysts began to work with children with autism and other disorders in the 1960s. During this time and presently, ABA has continued to provide the field with a wealth of research and tools to serve these individuals. Applied Behavior Analysis has been shown in numerous studies to produce improvements in communication, social skills, play skills, daily living and hygiene skills, as well as academic and employment. Intensive ABA programs have been shown to be the most effective (25-40 hour per week). Every child is different and has their own unique and specific needs/skills. This is the same for children on the spectrum. They each have a variety of skills and deficits, which is why teaching techniques and plans cannot be uniformed. ABA is effective due to its individualized teaching methods.
ABA Teaching Strategies
Applied Behavior Analysis has particular teaching strategies that focus on the principles of ABA including reinforcement, punishment, extinction, etc. These teaching strategies center around individuals demonstrating mastery as shown by data collection and being able to
generalize skills taught in the natural environment. Interventions can be used solely or simultaneously. Again, as stated above for ABA, strategies used are individualized, based on the learner as well as the skill being taught. There are numerous teaching strategies under the
umbrella of ABA (the following list is not exhaustive).
Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
“Discrete Trial Training is one of the most important instructional methods for children with autism” (Smith, 2001).
DTT is a teaching method that simplifies the process for teaching new skills by breaking down the skill into smaller (“discrete”) steps and teaching each step one at a time. This teaching strategy also involves repetition, which many children need in order to successfully learn a skill.
Discrete Trial Training was one of the first interventions developed to teach children and adults with autism. Ivar Lovaas conducted one of the most well-known research projects utilizing DTT with children on the spectrum.
Verbal Behavior (VB)
Verbal Behavior is an effective teaching technique used to help and improve the development of communication by making language functional and reinforcing. VB was originally described by B.F. Skinner in 1957 and has been further developed into an applied strategy by other behavior analysts including Dr. Sundberg. First children are taught to mand (or make requests) in their environment which teaches them that other people are reinforcing and communicating their needs will result in getting their needs met. VB also effectively teaches children echoics
(imitation), tacts (labeling), and intraverbals (answering questions, filling ins, and/or conversing with others).
Natural Environment Teaching Strategies (NaTS)/Incidental Teaching
NaTS and Incidental Teaching both utilize the natural environment to bring about natural/appropriate responses. These teaching strategies are child- directed but instructors can contrive situations in order to increase communication and motivation to present the skills being targeted.