What is Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)?
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is the science in which procedures are systematically applied to improve socially significant behaviour. Using one-to-one instruction and programs tailored to each child’s strengths and needs, ABA therapists teach communication, socialization, self-care, academics, safety, leisure and social/play skills.
Complicated learning sequences are broken down into smaller steps that are taught one at a time to the child. Reinforcement and prompting are coupled to the teaching techniques in order to help the child master and maintain the newly acquired skills. The key to this type of intervention is the precise analysis of progress and accurate records made possible by continuous data recording and summary procedures.
At Shining Through, this tracked data is interpreted and shared with the child’s parents on a regular meeting schedule, to ensure that all involved parties are fully informed of the complications and successes of that particular child’s progress.
Why we use ABA methods:
ABA is widely recognized as a safe and effective intervention for autism. At Shining Through, our program has a consistent and successful track record of fostering improvement and development in our children. To achieve these goals, we use ABA to help our children learn:
- We use reinforcement to help the child positively practice on-task behaviour as well as constructive social interactions.
- We teach new and useful skills. Our systematic instruction and reinforcement procedures teach functional, life, communication and social skills to each child, in the exact way he/she requires to learn it.
- We reduce self-injurious behaviour and instances of stereotypy (fixed and repetitive language and/or behaviours).
- We maintain positive and learned/encouraged behaviors. We teach self-control and self-monitoring skills in order to build social skills and over-arching life skills.
- We generalize or transfer behavior from one situation (or response) to another. Our program helps children transition from completing assignments in our Centres to performing such behaviours in the mainstream classroom, as well as in the world at large.
- We reduce and manage maladaptive behaviors that interfere with learning and inclusion.
Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behaviour
Over the last 10 years, interest in Skinner's theory of verbal behaviour has been on the rise and we've seen growth in the body of research that supports it. Skinner outlined a group of "verbal operants": functional units of language. Each verbal operant serves a different behavioural function. Using Skinner's analysis of the function of words allows ud to talk about and analyze language in new ways. We can look at language as a behaviour, and therefore we can shape language - as we do other things - using the principles of ABA.
Assessment and Individual Programming
At Shining Through Centre it is our goal to provide highly individualized instruction that is functional and meaningful. The starting point of accomplishing this task is our assessment process. We utilize the VB-MAPP (The Verbal Behaviour Milestones and Placement Program) published by Dr. Mark Sundberg as our criterion-referenced curriculum assessment tool. Once completed and in collaboration with the family and other relevant team members, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) with specific goals is developed. The process is reviewed and updated every 6 months.
Direct Funding Option (DFO)
Shining Through Centre is able to provide families with the DFO option as we have an approved clinician in charge. Families that are eligible for this funding from the Provincial regional providers (including TPAS, Kinark, and ErinOak Kids) are able to utilize these funds here at Shining Through.