What is ABA?
What is ABA Therapy?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific discipline that focuses on analyzing, designing, and implementing meaningful changes in behavior. ABA uses direct observation, measurement, and functional assessments to determine the environmental variables affecting one’s behavior. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) utilize the principles and procedures of ABA to create carefully constructed, individualized treatment plans that produce practical and significant change.
ABA has been endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General and the American Academy of Pediatrics as an effective treatment for reducing challenging behavior and in increasing communication, learning, and appropriate social behavior for individuals with autism.
Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a technique that involves taking a closer look at many complex layers of behavior. ABA therapy is used to identify which environmental factors play a significant role in behavior and identifies ways in which these factors can be altered. This is particularly important within the parameters of autism care.
Breaking Down Behavior Analysis and ABA Therapy
The ultimate goal of ABA therapy is to apply the lessons that are learned in sessions to real-life situations. Within the scope of autism care, strategies can be used to promote or discourage behaviors that disrupt learning or potentially cause harm. Additionally, ABA Therapy can be used to help children acquire skills they do not have.
Overall, behavioral analysis is designed to provide clarity around the ways in which behavior functions, how the environment affects behavior, and how learning ultimately happens.
The Benefits of ABA Therapy Programs
ABA therapy/autism care services are not new within the world of behavioral analysis. In fact, some approaches and techniques have been around since the 1960s.
Autism care ABA therapy is focused on decreasing behavioral issues by increasing language and communication skills. It also aims to improve social skills, memory, and academic success through the implementation of techniques that improve focus and attention.
How ABA Therapy Works
It’s important to recognize that ABA therapy/autism care services are made up of many different techniques. It’s considered to be a highly flexible treatment option that can be tailored to meet the needs of a patient.
Autism care ABA therapy focuses on enhancing everyday life skills either in a one-on-one setting or within a group. Some patients benefit from ABA therapy provided at a center, a school, or even in the comfort of their own homes.
Understanding Positive Reinforcement
The success of ABA often revolves around positive reinforcement strategies. It’s been shown time and again that people respond more readily to rewards than they do to punishment.
Following this line of thinking, therapists work hard to identify a goal behavior and reward their patients when the proper behavior is used. Over the long term, this technique can create significant and lasting behavioral change
ABA Program Elements
ABA programs are meant to be tailored to the needs of each patient they benefit. They should be flexible enough to help patients reach various behavior goals using an array of techniques and approaches.
Planning a program begins with a thorough assessment of a learner’s needs, skills, and living conditions. Treatment goals are established based on a combination of these factors, including the patient’s family situation.
Typically, treatment goals fall into one or more of several categories, including social skills, play, motor skills, academic skills, communication, behavior reduction, and self-care.
Above all, ABA program treatment plans and autism testing should not be overwhelming. Instead, they should be broken down into step-by-step processes to help patients reach their goals over time.
Progress towards these goals should be measured through therapy sessions and regular reviews. Treatment goals always provide flexibility in terms of making necessary changes as goals are met.
Three Components of Behavior
Before a therapist can identify preferred behavior goals, it’s important to understand the three components that make up behavior.
Being able to identify these three components in a specific patient is vital. It allows a therapist to pinpoint behavior triggers and evaluate the ways in which different consequences will alter future behavior.
Does ABA Work?
Over the years, there have been multiple studies performed regarding the efficacy of ABA therapies. Twenty of those have shown ABA to be successful in the vast majority of long-term and intensive therapy cases that involve children with autism. Of course, like other autism services, these results are never guaranteed.
It’s important to note that intensive and long-term therapy refers specifically to programs in which therapy is provided from 10 – 40 hours a week. This would happen over the course of one to three years in succession.
Families of loved ones with autism that want to explore ABA programs can confidently lean on the fact that it is an evidence-based treatment option. This title has been given by the U.S. Surgeon General in tandem with the American Psychological Association.
ABA Service Providers in Albuquerque
Our certified ABA therapy programs in Albuquerque are run by a multi-faceted group of professionals. Registered Behavior Technicians, therapists, and Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) are all part of the team.
Typically, BCBAs oversee the entire program. These individuals are expected to have acquired a state license to practice, passed a national certification exam, and earned their master’s degree or doctorate in behavioral analysis or psychology.
Registered Behavior Technicians who provide services within ABA programs report to BCBAs. They are responsible for working with patients directly in order to help them to meet their treatment goals through practiced skills.
ABA and Insurance Coverage
When it comes to ABA, it’s essential to speak with your independent insurance provider to understand what percentage of care is covered under your plan. In many cases, private health insurance covers ABA services in Albuquerque, although specifics can fluctuate state by state.
At Camino Behavioral Health Services, we’re proud to provide our ABA therapy services in Albuquerque for free to all Medicaid recipients. Give us a call at (505) 302-5383!