Applied Behavior Analysis Albuquerque
About Applied Behavior Analysis Therapists
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors to a meaningful degree, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement in behavior (Baer, Wolf & Risley, 1968; Sulzer-Azaroff & Mayer, 1991). ABA has decades of research in peer-reviewed journals to support its efficacy and has become the gold standard in the treatment of Autism and other Developmental Disabilities.
Types of Teaching Techniques Used in ABA for Children with Autism
Autism presents in a variety of ways in children and teens. This makes treatment variety vital.
At Camino Behavioral Health Services, we offer a diverse selection of evidence based teaching techniques for patients. These fall under our overarching umbrella of ABA therapy for children with autism.
Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is an intervention strategy characterized by its highly structured, one-on-one teaching environment in which tasks are broken down and taught in small increments. DTT is typically conducted with a teacher and learner seated adjacent to one another at a table. There are four parts of DTT that are presented in the following order:
- The discriminative stimulus is a brief, clear instruction or question that is relevant and appropriate to the task (Smith & Myles, 2008). Examples of a discriminative stimulus can be: “do this” “say” “what is it?”
- The child response is the behavior the child exhibits in response to the discriminative stimulus. The response must be clearly described and observable.
- The consequence is a stimulus change that occurs after the response that either increases or decreases the future frequency of the behavior.
- The interval is a 3-5 second pause between the consequence and presentation of the discriminative stimulus signifying a new trial.
In the initial stages of teaching using DTT, a prompt is sometime added between the discriminative stimulus and the child response. This prompt assists the learner in engaging in the correct response and may take the form of a visual, gestural, or physical prompts.
For children with autism, DTT is especially useful for teaching new forms of behavior (speech sounds or motor movements that the child previous could not make) and new discriminations (responding correctly to different requests.
Skill Based Treatment (SBT) For Challenging Behaviors
In the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Skill-Based Treatment (SBT) is a comprehensive and adaptable approach that can be used to treat severe challenging behavior. With a trauma-informed perspective, SBT recognizes the impact of trauma on individuals and integrates this understanding into the treatment process.
Treatment consists of progressively teaching communication, toleration, and contextually appropriate behaviors (CABs). Common CABs include relinquishing favorite items, transitioning to a non-preferred activities, completing academic work, and much more.
Repeated practice is essential to building these skills, as is reinforcement on an unpredictable and intermittent schedule.
The overall goal of treatment is to develop trusting relationships between children and caregivers and to teach children how to be effective despite ambiguity, unpredictability, and disappointments of everyday life.
Natural Environment Training (NET)
Natural Environment Training (NET), developed by Drs. Sundberg & Partington and based on Skinner’s Verbal Behavior, requires the therapist to focus on the child’s interests and actions as a guide to their language instruction. It’s conducted in a typical daily environment, which allows for more opportunities to verbally engage, helps generalize target behaviors more quickly, and promotes more spontaneous verbal behavior. Children may also exhibit fewer negative behaviors because of the focus on motivation and the use of consequences more directly related to that motivation (Hall & Sundberg, 1987; Koegal, Koegal, & Surratt, 1992; Stafford, Sundberg, & Braam, 1988).
Functional Communication Training
A core feature of ABA therapy is differential reinforcement. Functional Communication Training falls into this category. This instructional approach works to demonstrate alternative responses to situations that may provoke unwanted behaviors. Functional Communication Training utilizes positive reinforcement each time a suitable response is used. Eventually, that reinforcement can be removed.
Within the parameters of Errorless Teaching, children are offered an opportunity to always have a correct answer. This is achieved when the instructor gives a direction and follows it up with a specific prompt. The prompt encourages the correct answer or behavior. Over time, the prompt can be slowly removed, promoting independence in learners with autism symptoms.
Verbal Behavior Approach
Verbal Behavior is the behavioral analysis of language by its formal and functional properties resulting in a classification system that allows for the identification of functionally different types of language. In addition to listener discriminations, Skinner presented the following types of speaker behaviors: echoic (and motor imitation), mand (request), tact, intraverbal, textual and transcriptive (spelling), (Skinner, 1957). At Camino, we look at language as a behavior that can be directly taught and increased through reinforcement. We believe the ability to communicate, through vocal or augmentative communication, is one of the most important life skills to be taught and is the emphasis of all of our programming. Tools such as VB-MAPP (Sundberg) and EFL (McGreevy) help us to identify specific language objectives, and give us the means to create a personalized curriculum for your child.