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Jennifer Skanes

on 2 August 2013

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Transcript of ABA

Applied Behavioural Analysis
What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disability
Characterized by: difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors
Includes: Autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome
Symptoms/Signs of ASD tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age
Children with ASD generally have problems in three crucial areas of development — social interaction/skills, language and behaviour
What is Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA)?
What are some techniques used to treat a child with Autism?
Role of the
Goals of Counselling
The goals of an intervention employing ABA principles are:
1. To increase positive behaviours
2. To decrease negative behaviours
3. To teach new skills
4. To generalize and maintain learned skills
(Green, 2005; Cooper et al. 1997)
of ABA
ABA Therapy may follow the following protocol:
Identify the problem behaviour as well as the behaviour that will “help the individual become an independent and meaningful member of society”
Breakdown the task into measurable terms
Create prompts such as probes, visual and verbal cues to initiate desired behaviour
Phase out the cues/prompts/probes
Reinforce correct responses and fail to reinforce incorrect responses

Strengths of Using ABA
Limitations of Using ABA
References & Resources
American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed. text revision). Washington, DC.
Autism Canada Foundation: www.autismcanada.org
Autism Speaks- it’s time to listen (Retrieved on July 22, 2013) http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/treatment/applied-behavior-analysis-aba
Autism Support Network: www.autismsupportnetwork.com
Baer, D. M.; Wolf, M.M.; Risley, T.R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of applied behavior analysis, 1, 91-97.
Behavioural Neurotherapy Clinic (2012) http://www.autism.net.au/Autism_ABA.htm
B. Belva, M.A. Hattier, J.L. Matson (2011). Treating adaptive living skills of persons with autism using applied behaviour analysis: A review. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Volume 6. P. 271-276. http://ees.elsevier.com/RASD/default.asp
C. Szapacs (2006) Applied behaviour analysis. Teaching Elementary Physical Education. P. 12-15
C. Dozier, B. Iwata, J. Thomason-Sassi, A.S. Worsdell, D.M. Wilson (2012) A comparison of two pairing procedures to establish praise as a reinforcer. Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis. Number 4, Volume 45. P. 721-735.
Education Portal (Retrieved on July 22, 2013) http://education-portal.com/articles/ABA_Therapist_Job_Description_and_Requirements_for_Becoming_an_ABA_Therapist.html
Mayo CLinic: mayoclinic.com
YouTube (ABA therapy training videos): mwileyUNB's channel
Winzer, M. (2008). Children with exceptionalities in Canadian classrooms, 8th ed. Pearson: Toronto: Canada.
Working with individuals who have Autism
Early intervetntion is critical to gain maximum benefit from existing therapies/interventions
Every individual is unique: No one child with ASD responds or behaves exactly as another with the same diagnosis
Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA)
Discrete Trial Training
Positive Behavioural Supports
Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communications-handicapped Children (TEACCH)
Picture exchanges or PECS
Functional Communication Training
Sensory Integration
Social Stories
Stimulants and other medications
Is a clear and systematic way to describe, observe, and measure behaviour
Conducted by trained professionals
Is research-based (evidence-based) philosophy
Is supportive of teaching both simple and complex skills
Is a supportive individualized approach to addressing an individual's strengths and weaknesses
Helps build independence
Is not only used for behaviour reduction
Overwhelming evidence that methods based on the behaviour principles of ABA form the foundation of many effective individualized programs
Does not use punishments
Uses positive reinforcements
A flexible method that can be applied in a variety of ways and settings
Is not exclusive to the treatment of ASD
Is not applied to all behaviors, just those behaviors which are socially inappropriate
In order for best benefits, ABA is very time demanding
Requires parental support and time
Can only be conducted by trained professionals
May be difficult to find rewards that work
Rewards need to be changed on a regular basis
Can be financially demanding
Will use reward systems to reinforce positive, learned behaviours
Will have an administration/consultative role
Will have received training specific to ABA techniques as part of their post-secondary training
Will assist/train other individuals who will execute the ABA Therapy (i.e. parents, classroom teachers, instructional resource teachers, respite workers, etc.)
Essentially, the goal is to decrease negative behaviours by reinforcing positive behaviours
Clients learn new skills through explicit teaching which will hopefully help the client generalize and maintain new behaviours/skills to a variety of situations so that they improve their functioning in society
Many students with ASD will require extrinsic rewards to learn new skills (i.e. favoured foods, toys, games, etc.)
The ultimate goal of ABA is to help the client develop an intrinsic motivation which will help the client generalize and maintain these skills
Get to know the client and identify the behaviours to modify (problem behaviour), identify the current reinforcer for the problem behaviour, and plan to replace undesired behaviour with more socially acceptable behaviours
Collect data and develop treatment goals that stem from a detailed, comprehensive assessment of each learner's skills and preferences
Create goals for the client (with the client and their family) that are developmentally appropriate and target a broad range of skills (depending on client/student needs)
Be an active member of Individual Education Plans/Individual Support Services Teams to plan ahead, review progress and make adjustments as needed
Write, help deliver, and evaluate ABA programs for their clients
Help plan for transitions (changing from Elementary to Junior High, leaving school, new job, etc.)
Organize job coaches, vocational training, support workers and support agencies
The Counsellor will . . .
Common ABA Techniques
Discrete Trial Training

Pivotal Response Therapy

Reciprocal Imitation Training

Video Modeling

Discrete Trial Training (DTT):
Series of distinct repeated lessons taught one-on-one
Each lesson has; a ‘directive’ (request) for the individual to perform; a behaviour, or ‘response’ from the person; and a consequence, a “reaction” from the therapist based upon the response of the person
Positive reinforcers are selected by evaluating the individual’s preferences
Reinforcers may be tangible, extrinsic rewards; but they are faded quickly and replaced with intrinsic motivators
DTT is intensive (30- 40 hours/week) and requires continual monitoring and evaluation of effectiveness
Once one skill is mastered, a new skill may be taught
Pivotal Response Therapy (PRT):
Primary pivotal areas of pivotal response therapy are; motivation and initiation of activities; self-management; feelings, and; the ability to respond to multiple signals, or cues
Play environments are used to teach pivotal skills, such as turn-taking, communication, and language
PRT is child-directed: the child makes choices that direct the therapy
Strategies of PRT:
clear instructions and questions presented by the therapist
child choice of stimuli (based on choices offered by the therapist)
intervals of maintenance tasks (previously mastered tasks)
direct reinforcement (the chosen stimuli is the reinforce)
reinforcement of reason for purposeful attempts at correct respond
turn taking to allow modeling and appropriate pace of interaction
Reciprocal Imitation Training (RIT):
Teaches spontaneous imitation skills to young children with autism in a play environment with a therapist
The therapist creates an unexpected simulation in which the therapist imitates actions and vocalizations of the child and the play is generalized to new settings, therapists, and materials
Video Modeling:
Uses predictable and repeated presentations of target behaviours presented in video format
Video modeling interventions can be self-as-model (individuals act as their own models )and other-as-model (taping other individuals performing target behaviours) methods
Some people think that self-as-model may be more effective because it may promote increased attention from the client/student
View of Human Nature
Individual first, disorder second
Human nature is a positive view
In reference to children experiencing ASD, “ongoing etiological research in the 1970s showed that autism is a development disability, not an emotional disturbance" (Winzer, 2008)
Less emphasis on "curing" the individual

“The current view is that the person is the producer and the product of their environment. Behaviour therapy aims to increase people’s skills so that they have more options for responding. By overcoming debilitating behaviours that restrict choices, people are freer to select from possibilities that were not available earlier” (blogspot)
Diagnostic Statistical Manual-V (DSM-V)
According to the DSM the definition of ASD has to include the following criteria:
Deficits in social/emotional reciprocity
Deficits in nonverbal communication
Deficits in maintaining relationships

Two of the following criteria must be met-restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour/interests:
Stereotyped/repetitive speech, motor movements
Excessive adherence to routines, ritualized patterns of verbal/nonverbal behaviour, or excessive resistance to change
Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus
Hyper/hypo re-activity to sensory input
Fails to respond to his or her name
Has poor eye contact
Appears not to hear you at times
Resists cuddling and holding
Appears unaware of others' feelings
Seems to prefer playing alone (own world)
Doesn't ask for help or request things
1. Social Skills:
Doesn't speak or has delayed speech
Loses previously acquired ability to say words or sentences
Doesn't make eye contact when making requests
Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm — may use a singsong voice or robot-like speech
Can't start a conversation or keep one going
May repeat words or phrases verbatim, but doesn't understand how to use them
Doesn't appear to understand simple questions or directions
2. Language Skills:
Performs repetitive movements, (i.e.rocking, spinning or hand-flapping)
Develops specific routines or rituals and becomes disturbed at the slightest change
May be fascinated by details of an object, such as the spinning wheels of a toy car, but doesn't understand the "big picture" of the subject
May be unusually sensitive to light, sound and touch, and yet oblivious to pain
Does not engage in imitative or make-believe play
May have odd food preferences, or craving items that are not food,
May perform activities that could cause self-harm, such as headbanging
3. Behaviour:
History of ABA
Most commonly applied in Autistic individual’s but other areas of application include:
AIDS prevention
Natural resources conversation practices
Safety training
Health and exercise
Treatment of severe mental health disorders
Most significant impact of ABA is an early intensive educational approach-some children exhibit signs of autism spectrum as early as 6 months
History of ABA (cont'd)
1950-60s: Brought empirically based principles out of the lab and into human life
1968: Donald M Baer, et al published in the first edition of the Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis
Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis, first launched in 1968

According to Baer (1968), “analytic behavioural application is the process of applying sometimes tentative principles of behaviour to the improvement of specific behaviours, and simultaneously evaluating whether or not any changes noted are indeed attributable to the process of application-and if so, to what parts of that process. In short, analytic behavioural application is a self-examining, self-evaluating, discovery-oriented research procedure for studying behaviour.”

• Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) is a therapeutic intervention that strives to teach replacement behaviours that can be transferred into real life settings (school, home, social)
• ABA therapy emerged from Behavioural Counselling Theory
• Clients are believed to be capable of learning new adaptive responses
• Clients are rewarded for positive behaviour and taught replacement skills for maladaptive behaviours
• ABA is grounded in the belief that clients should be rewarded for good behaviour with attention, praise or tangible rewards which will increase the likelihood of the behaviour occurring again

meaningful to a person’s life (experiential component)

anything a client does that can be observed/measured

demonstrating a functional relationship between the environmental events and behavioural changes

* ABA employs the ABC model by breaking down behaviours into the following:

(what events precedes the behaviour)
(what pleasure/pain does the client receive as a result of engaging in the behaviour) and are categorized as being either positive or negative

• Positive consequences increase the probability that a behaviour will be repeated through the experience of something pleasant or the removal of something
• Negative consequences decrease the occurrence of a behaviour, either by the presence of something (e.g., time out) or the absence of something desired (e.g., removal of Xbox)

John Watson
B.F. Skinner
Ivar Lovaas
Presented by:

Janelle Dakins
Jennifer Skanes
Deanne Williams
Full transcript