I am so thankful to Cara’s mama….Cara is a little one I am seeing for feeding therapy….and her amazing mother, Christine has started her own blog…so below you will see a post she wrote…with permission she is allowing me to “pay it forward”…..Cara’s mother not only is a mama…she also is an incredible special education teacher…anyway…I am thankful that I have been lucky enough to work with Cara…..and glad to have acquired the information below….and please visit her site:
Sunday, April 1, 2012
I am sitting with Cara in a stable position ( I don’t want her working or focusing on the sit I want her comfy to attend to me)
I ask Cara to “do this” or “try this” then I wave. It is an up down motion -she can do this.
I will give her a full prompt – I will take my hand and easily help her wave to me.
When she does she gets lots of praise from me! I love it because she laughs so much!!!
I have been tracking it in data. I mark when it is prompted or independent. Recently, Cara has had an increase with her independent waves. So we are getting ready to drop the prompt to partial prompting. I will eventually just slightly tap her shoulder. Cara understands that when she does she gets – lots of praise. She is so cute when she gets the big praise! Something to watch out for as this progresses. I am working on verbal imitation as well – I will get into it but as a side note. When Cara is asked to do an imitation verbally she is waving to me.. Haha smart kid she wants the praise for a wave. I tell her “do this ah” I don’t want to reinforce something I am not asking for. Be careful of this sweet misunderstanding that can happen..
I wanted to work on 2 motor imitation targets going at one time. I thought about tapping her legs because she will imitate this sometimes with me when we play – but it is sometimes too close to waving so I think I will do something else. I am probing data right now. I will ask her to do arms up with prompts. I will also ask her to imitate clapping and I will prompt it. I want to see where to go next.
This is important. The information refers to children with autism but there are significant studies that prove children with Down syndrome benefit from this scientific method of teaching! The strengths and weaknesses for children with autism and Down syndrome are different so focuses would be different.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
What is Applied Behavior Analysis?
Who Can Benefit from ABA?
What is the Research on ABA for Autism?
What Does ABA Intervention Involve?
- Intervention designed and overseen directly by qualified, well-trained professional behavior analysts
- Detailed assessment of each learner’s skills as well as learner and family preferences to determine initial treatment goals
- Selection of goals that are meaningful for the learner and the family
- Ongoing objective measurement of learner progress
- Frequent review of progress data by the behavior analyst so that goals and procedures can be “fine tuned” as needed
- Instruction on developmentally appropriate goals in skill areas (e.g. communication, social, self-care, play and leisure, motor, and academic skills)
- Skills broken down into small parts or steps that are manageable for the learner, and taught from simple (such as imitating single sounds) to complex (e.g. carrying on conversations)
- An emphasis on skills that will enable learners to be independent and successful in both the short and the long run
- Use of multiple behavior analytic procedures – both adult-directed and learner-initiated – to promote learning in a variety of ways
- Many opportunities – specifically planned and naturally occurring – for each learner to acquire and practice skills every day, in structured and unstructured situations
- Intervention provided consistently for many hours each week
- Abundant positive reinforcement for useful skills and socially appropriate behaviors
- An emphasis on positive social interactions, and on making learning fun!
- No reinforcement for behaviors that are harmful or prevent learning
- Use of techniques to help trained skills carry over to various places, people, and times, and to enable learners to acquire new skills in a variety of settings
- Parent training so family members can teach and support skills during typical family activities
- Regular meetings between family members and program staff to plan, review progress, and make adjustments
What Kind of Improvements Can Be Expected From ABA?
Who Can Provide ABA Intervention?
- Just as a medical treatment program should be directed by a qualified medical professional, ABA programs for learners with autism should be designed and supervised by qualified behavior analysts, preferably individuals who are Board Certified Behavior Analysts (R) with supervised experience providing ABA treatment for autism, or who can clearly document that they have equivalent training and experience. Always check credentials of those who claim to be qualified in behavior analysis.
- An ABA program should have the components and features listed above
- Monitor the program by observing sessions and participating in training sessions and consultations