What is Applied Behavioural analysis (ABA)?

I might hit developmental and societal milestones in a different order than my peers, but I am able to accomplish these small victories on my own time - Haley Moss


Q: What is Behaviour Modication ?

Behaviour modification is simply translated to "changing one's behaviour". It is the application of behaviour principles to improve specific behaviours. However, this term has been used interchangeably with Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) and Behavioural Therapy. In ABA, it is 'environmental' modification in which we analyze and control the variables affecting the behaviour of concern. Update: 'The name "applied behavior analysis" has replaced behaviour modification because the latter approach suggested attempting to change behavior without clarifying the relevant behavior-environment interactions.


Q: What is Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA)?

Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) also called, behavioural modification, behavioural intervention or behavioural treatment, is the application of specific methods based on scientific principles of behaviour in therapeutic settings, to build socially appropriate behaviours and reduce problematic ones especially in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). With careful examination and continuous assessment of behaviours, information obtained from the analysis of behaviours, provides understanding what triggers (antecedents) and maintains (consequences) an individual's behaviours. Strategies can, then, be implemented to change or modify the antecedents and consequences, thus, resulting in a change of behaviour in the individual.


Q: What is the Lovaas Approach?

The Lovaas Approach is just another term for the employment of techniques of Applied Behavioural Analysis and Discrete Trial Training. It is named after O. Ivar Lovaas who first demonstrated the efficacy of this approach. Using behaviour change techniques, Lovaas focused on strategies to teach social behaviours, eliminate self-stimulatory behaviours, and develop language skills in children with ASD.


Q: What is Discrete Trial Training (DTT)?

Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is one of the methods or techniques used in behaviour modification or applied behavioural analysis. It is effectively used, especially in building language and skills such as mathematics and social skills, in ASD individuals. It is a very structured method, and involves teaching the individual on a one-on-one basis. The individual learns through presentation of tasks in a series of separate (discrete), brief sessions (trials), and is expected to focus only on the task. Only successful attempts are rewarded, whereas unsuccessful attempts are corrected through prompting.


Q: Does ABA/DTT therapy cure autism?

It is best to term 'recovery' in whether ABA/DTT therapy is beneficial in the management of ASD. Some studies have shown that some children (about 40% to 50%) can achieve 'symptom free' status, while other children have show or make partial recovery. 

Q: Does ABA/DTT therapy work with other disabilities?

ABA/DTT can work with other disabilities but often the results are not as remarkable. 

Q: How much therapy does a child with autism need?

Support recommendation about 35-40 hours per week is suggested based on Lovaas (1987). However, it is generally accepted that a minimum of 20 hours a week over a two-year period is necessary. Note that therapeutic activities need not be confined to tabletop activities or indoor activities especially when the child progresses, so that generalization and maintaining of training in different environments can be introduced and learned. 

Q: Who are the professionals qualified in behavior analysis or ABA?

Professionals/paraprofessionals/educators who are qualified to provide behavior analysis training or ABA should have either a master's or doctorate degree and are certified by the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board (BACB). They would be the Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBA-D or BCBA). There are also Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analysts (BCaBA) who work under the supervision of a BCBA or BCBA-D. Registered Behaviour Technicians are also board certified and need to be supervised by a BCBA or BCBA-D. Finally, we have the behaviour technicians that need to be under a BCBA or BCBA-D supervision only until 31st December 2018. Effective 1st of January 2019, all behaviour technicians must register with the BACB.

It is not how long the road is that matters - It's about finding the power, the conviction, and the daring to reach deeply into your mind, heart, and spirit in pursuit of the secret world of a child lost behind the invisible veil of ASD - Barry Neil Kaufman

In Collaboration with Early Intervention Programme (EIP) - http://www.eipautism.com/

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