Below you will find some frequently asked questions about ABA and the benefits for children. If you have a question that is not listed here please email Info@vbsinc.ca
What is Autism (ASD)?
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social communication challenges and rigid, repetitive behaviours. Autism is a spectrum disorder; meaning that each individual with autism has their own unique challenges and strengths.
Is ABA only for young children with ASD?
Absolutely not! Since ABA is the science of behaviour it literally applies to anyone (or anything) who engages in behaviour. It can be applied to anyone, regardless of a diagnosis or of their age.
What is Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)?
ABA is the science of behaviour focusing on understanding and changing behaviour. ABA is founded in a set of behavioural principles used to change behaviour and understand how the environment affects behaviour. The basic idea is to understand the antecedent (what happens before a behaviour occurs) and the consequence (what happens after a behaviour occurs) in order to determine the appropriate intervention to either increase or decrease a target behaviour or to teach a brand new skill. Of course, it can easily and quickly get much more complicated than that!
Why is parent training important?
Parents who use and understand the principles of ABA can have a dramatic influence on their child/youth’s success with learning and in targeted behaviour change. Understanding how to change their child/youth’s behaviour increases a parent's feeling of empowerment. It also has an incredible impact on the learning for their child/youth. Recognizing that the parent-child relationship is lifelong and that children spend a lot of their time with their parents really highlights the importance of parents understanding and using ABA with their child/youth on a daily basis. Although parents are not “therapists” they can definitely learn a lot about how to positively support their child at home and in the community.
What is the difference between ABA and IBI?
As we already know, ABA is the science of behaviour change. Intensive Behaviour Intervention (IBI) is simply the intense application of ABA principles. Typically IBI occurs as an early intervention for individuals with ASD. IBI is implemented by trained professionals for at least 20 hours per week with the goal to help the child close the learning gap between them and their peers
What is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA)?
The Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) is a graduate-level certification in Behavior Analysis. Professionals certified at the BCBA level are independent practitioners who provide Behavior Analysis services” (BACB, 2020). A BCBA is an expert in the field of Behavior Analysis, specializes in behavior management, and who develops a variety of individualized behaviour analytic interventions.
How will ABA help my child/youth?
I think it would be easier to answer the question, how could it not? ABA can be used to teach new behaviours, increase positive behaviours that your child/youth should do more often, and decrease behaviours that aren’t so great. It’s important to keep in mind that each intervention/behaviour program should be individualized to the child/youth it is designed for. ABA is not a cookie cutter approach and does not need to be implemented solely in a clinical setting.
Is ABA effective for children/youth with ASD?
ABA is not only the most commonly used therapy for individuals with autism, it is considered the gold standard. ABA has been around for decades and has grown to become a therapy that can target learning goals and behaviour changes which, otherwise, were not possible.
Does my child need to have autism to benefit from ABA?
Absolutely not! The principles of ABA apply to behaviour change in everyone! It is advised that when looking for support in ABA therapy you find a BCBA who has experience in the target areas and potential diagnosis your child/youth may have.
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Common misconceptions about ABA
ABA does not need to be completed at a table in a clinical setting. Many people with limited knowledge of ABA assume that it is a regimented, rigid therapy. Frankly, this is untrue. The principles of ABA can be implemented throughout the day, in natural situations to help individuals be successful.
ABA does not need to be implemented by an expert. It is advised that behaviour change programs be developed and overseen by a BCBA but, with the proper clinical guidance parents can affect amazing changes with their own child/youth. With an increase in waitlists for ABA therapies becoming all too common, parents can work with a BCBA to take the reins of their child’s learning and development.