Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is an intervention in which the principles of learning theory are applied in a systematic and measurable manner to increase, reduce, maintain, and/or generalise target behaviours. These behaviours include speech and language, social skills including turn taking, communication skills including verbal and non-verbal communication, adaptive living skills including toileting, eating, dressing, and play skills including gross motor and fine motor play and social play.
ABA is a best practice, evidence informed therapy and takes a strengths-based family focussed approach to develop programs that increase skills in language, play and socialisation.
While ABA therapy may use principles and strategies that are considered restrictive practices, Abacus Learning Centre does not use any restrictive practices in programming or during therapy.
ABA encompasses various teaching techniques including:
Discrete Trial Training (DTT) involves breaking down specific skills into small discrete steps which are then taught in a graduated fashion. Children receive positive feedback for their correct responses.
Naturalistic Developmental Behaviour Intervention (NDBI) is used to teach new skills and generalise learned skills by delivering ABA therapy within natural activities, like play and in real-life setting like Kinder and School.
An Australian Government funded review of the most effective models of practice in early intervention concluded that ‘Evidence-based treatment guidelines are particularly important in the field of autism where there has been so much debate, and where there are many heavily promoted approaches for which there is no scientific evidence, and which can even be harmful. Intensive educational and behavioural interventions such as ABA have produced positive outcomes for children with autism’. (Prior Roberts 2006) www.health.gov.au
Early intervention students at Abacus must attend a minimum of 12 hours and can attend up to 30 hours of ABA therapy per week.
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Some ASD students require additional assistance