It’s only for kids with autism" This couldn't be further from the truth! Let me ask you, “do you go to work every day to receive a paycheck?” If the answer is yes, then the foundation ABA principles are working on YOU! Applied Behavior Analysis is not aligned with a specific treatment or diagnosis. Here are some common areas you know of where ABA has had an impact:
· Decreasing addictions (smoking, alcohol, etc.)
· Safety regulations (do you know about OSHA?)
· Organizational behavior management
· Speech & language
· Learning or refining a sport
That’s the therapy that creates robotic children!" Unfortunately, there is a lot of outdated and inaccurate information still lingering around the ABA field. This information comes from the idea that most of ABA is implemented in a highly structured, adult-driven setting where rote or repetitive responses are trained. This is not the case. There are many methodologies that utilize ABA principles including incidental teaching, Verbal Behavior, natural environment training, functional communication training, and discrete trial teaching. If a student sound “robotic” that often means they are struggling with intonation and inflection within their speech and that they probably need a more detailed generalization plan. If you want to hear some of our kids communicating with staff, schedule an appointment to see the clinic and hear for yourself!
I hear they bribe kids with food..." Behavior Analysts do sometimes use food as reinforcers (meaning, if a student engages in the behavior we are trying to teach, we will reinforce with an edible). Why? For many young children, developmentally delayed students, or children with very limited play/social interests, food can be an effective reinforcer. Food is a primary reinforcer, meaning, we don’t teach a child that food is good.
If we cannot find other reinforcers, we begin teaching by using edibles if the parents are comfortable. Much of our approach would then center around shaping up new reinforcers through pairing for the purpose of enabling the student with natural reinforcers such as social engagement, positive attention and personal accomplishment. What’s pairing? Come find out!