Posts

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ABC’s of ABA

Do you know the ABCs of ABA?

The core principle of ABA is that an individual’s behavior is …

  • Lawful (Guided by principles)

  • Observable (We can see it)

  • Measurable (We can count it)

antecedent

A is for Antecedent

The term “antecedent” refers to what came before the behavior in question. What was happening before your child started engaging in meltdown behaviors? Put on your detective hat and describe the prior scene as best you can
Read more
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Fragile Learner Model

A child can be considered fragile when there are certain events that are causing or contributing to that child feeling extraordinarily stressed, in turn leading to the child experiencing difficulty effectively managing his/her day (sometimes referred to as “Setting Events”; for the purpose of this model, these events will be labeled “Context Events”). Context Events can have happened further back in time but continue to affect the present and/or can be situations that children “bring with” them.

Positive Context Events can set the stage for success. Adverse Context Events can negatively affect a child’s ability to cope with educational programming, social relationships and behavioral management. Read more

How ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy helped Jack blossom

Brad Ramsey is a family physician. His son, Jack, was a fairly normal, typical developing child until he was about two and a half. It was around that time that Jack’s behavior changed and he started making less eye contact and would wander off. After consulting with a friend who’s a pediatrician, they had Jack tested for autism.

Jack was prescribed 35 to 40 hours of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, speech therapy, Occupational Therapy (OT), and Physical Therapy (PT).

“When we first started ABA therapy what was kinda what was cool is we could sit down after their evaluation with Jack and see OK, this is where we expect him to be in three months, this is where we expect him to be in six months, and this is how we’re going to get there.

ABA therapy identifies goals, then provides you with step-by-step guidance

We saw the difference within one week and we just continue to see progression with him. His language has blossomed. He’s coming home telling me exactly what he’s done in school, where before all he would say was that ‘I don’t know.’ With autism, there’s a lot of things out there that you can read on the internet but the only thing that’s been truly proven is ABA therapy.

This is your child. You don’t give up. You just keep doing everything you possibly can for him because you never know what when that breakthrough moment is going to be. We’re very optimistic to see where Jack’s going to end up in the future, especially with seeing this much improvement with very little therapy. I’m looking forward to see what he looks like in six months or a year now.”

We are, too. Dr. Ramsey. We are, too. Hear more of Dr. Ramsey and Jack’s inspirational story here:

 

To find out more about FirstPath Autism’s ABA-based video lessons and how they can make an impact for your family, visit http://firstpathautism.com

How ABA therapy can help prevent another meltdown

Meltdowns are hard on everyone: the child, the parent, and the bystanders. But what if consistent ABA reinforcement could help reduce their frequency and severity? In this post, we’ll share several key reasons why ABA therapy aids in averting meltdowns.

ABA promotes emotional regulation

Working with an ABA therapist can help your child build vital emotional self-management skills, which in turn, can help to minimize the chances of a meltdown. At the end of the day, these self-control skills are key to preventing meltdowns and promoting independence.

For instance, teaching your child how to appropriately communicate what he or she wants and does not want can lessen your child’s need to use meltdowns to get wants and needs met. Additionally, building functional communication skills and consistency in the application of behavioral strategies between you and your child are key when meltdown behavior occurs.

Yes, it’s true that as a parent you can plan ahead and help your child to avoid sensory overload and other “triggering” experiences. That said, you cannot anticipate every possible situation.

As we wrote in our post, What to do when your child has a meltdown in public:

“The truth is, meltdowns happen to even the best of kids with even the best of parents. So don’t beat yourself up or think that you’ve failed. Ultimately, you can’t control another person’s responses. However, you can prepare for the possibility of meltdowns and equip yourself to respond appropriately when they do happen.”

While ABA reinforcement can’t prevent every meltdown, it can teach your child successful self-governance–an invaluable, lifelong skill.

ABA empowers your child to learn social protocols step-by-step

Recall the discouragement and frustration that arise within you when you’re asked to do something new without adequate instruction or coaching. Then, multiply that feeling by a thousand.

As you know firsthand, your child moves through a world wherein others expect him/her to make sustained eye contact, carry on complex conversations, pay attention to both spoken and unspoken communications. This can be unnerving and difficult.

ABA empowers your child to learn social protocols step-by-stepMany children with autism have the potential to socialize successfully, but they
need step-by-step, measured instruction in order to do so. While they may not initially grasp social conventions intuitively, they can learn them with practice, and reduce the frustration often associated with meltdown behavior.

ABA reinforcement empowers your child to identify and communicate emotional states.

One of the fundamental tenets of ABA therapy is that all behavior is a form of communication. Every time your child bangs her head against a wall or throws herself on the ground, she’s trying to communicate something. Of course, you’d prefer that she express herself in a non-harmful way, and that’s where ABA comes in.

ABA clinicians help children with autism by teaching them to identify, label, and express various emotional states. (Check out our free Labeling and Identifying Emotions video lesson to see this process in action!)

The best ABA therapists provide children with opportunities to practice skills such as recognizing facial expressions, verbally naming emotions, and describing how others feel using context clues. These lessons offer a new vocabulary for expressing emotion, one that’s healthier and less dysfunctional than melting down.

ABA reinforcement provides immediate, consistent behavioral feedback

ABA reinforcement provides immediate, consistent behavioral feedback

If you’ve watched an ABA clinician work with your child, then you know that the therapist provides ongoing feedback in response to the child’s behaviors. For example, if your child flails in her seat, the clinician says, “Sit nice.” When your child looks away for an extended period, the therapist says, “Eyes on me.”

The result of these brief, consistent prompts is that the child learns what type of personal behavior is acceptable. This sense of structure and order is very grounding for children, as it enables them to understand the results of their choices. The child learns, “If I do A, then B happens. If I scream and tantrum, I don’t get what I want. But if I complete my lesson well, I always get my reward.”

Children are smart and efficient; once they understand what behaviors effectively get them what they want, they will choose those behaviors more often, and in doing so, develop a solid foundation of safe, responsible behavior.

Begin ABA therapy to prevent another meltdown

If your child is struggling with ongoing meltdowns, help is available. You can start a proven behavioral therapy program today and take the first step toward promoting healthy communication.

After all, while it’s important to know what to do when your child has a meltdown in public, it’s also essential to work on stopping meltdowns before they start. So don’t wait; sign up for your free trial of FirstPath today!

FirstPath Autism Launching Now!

FirstPath Autism Launching Now, Delivers “Lifeline” to Parents/Professionals with Affordable Access to Proven Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)-Based Treatments

Online access to an extensive video lesson library. Live, unlimited phone support from Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) professionals.

FirstPath Autism’s self-guided videos include progressive, comprehensive training lessons that are accessible anywhere – from home, school or the office via desktop or laptop, tablet or mobile devices. The ABA-based training helps improve functional communication, self-help, social and pre-academic skills, and much more. The video lessons teach therapy strategies and techniques that can be implemented alongside professional treatment, or as stand-alone options if it is the only resource available to parents and care providers. FirstPath Autism’s video lessons also serve as an ideal training model for anyone who works with a child with autism.

FirstPath Autism video lessons include:
Behavior management

  •     Tantrums/Meltdowns
  •     Self-stimulatory behavior
  •      Self-injurious
  •      Non-compliance
  •      Bolting
  •      Aggression

Learning skills

  •     Learning readiness
  •     Imitation skills
  •     Labeling skills
  •     Advanced labeling skills
  •     Visual performance skills
  •     Reading skills
  •     Pre-math skills

Social skills

  •     Conversation training
  •     Advanced conversation training
  •     Theory of mind

Life skills

  •     Self-help skills
  •     Community safety

Play skills

FirstPath Autism Phone Support Service:
The FirstPath Autism support service, can be thought of as an “Autism-lifeline,” providing a broad range of help from ABA professionals which includes live, unlimited phone support (9am – 5pm PST) for individualized solutions and problem solving. FirstPath Autism brings vital and easily accessible help to parents immediately following an autism diagnosis, when navigating treatment options can be daunting and confusing. The phone support can be a backbone for parents as questions arise throughout the treatment process, or when families, teachers or therapists are challenged with highly stressful social behaviors.