Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior. It is a scientifically proven treatment for the symptoms of autism. The goal is to increase behaviors that are helpful and decrease behaviors that are harmful or affect learning. ABA therapy as a treatment program systematically applies principles and techniques based upon learning theory with the goal of improving socially significant behavior. Behavior analysis methods have been used and studied for decades, and have helped many kinds of learners gain a wide variety of skills. ABA therapy can increase a variety of skills such as language, communication, social, attention, academic, self-help, and adaptive living skills, while decreasing maladaptive or undesirable behavior.
ABA enables us to determine and understand why a behavior is occurring. The use of reinforcement is critical to ABA and allows us to shape behavior while making learning fun for your child. ABA therapy is conducted by trained Behavior Technicians, generally in a one to one format, with strategic social and group interaction when appropriate. ABA therapy is overseen by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
- Natural Environment Teaching
Natural Environment Teaching (NET) utilizes the play activities children love such as playing with cars, climbing, building blocks, or going on a scavenger hunt into meaningful learning opportunities. Naturalistic teaching fills every minute of the child's day with learning through observation and imitation while encompassing play. Learning opportunities are created naturally as children play, interact, dance, and have fun throughout their day. Generalization of skills leading to lasting skill mastery is intentionally implemented through activities, settings and people.
- The Verbal Behavior Approach
At DASI we use a Verbal Behavior (VB) approach when developing Individual Treatment Plans. This approach is based on B.F. Skinners book Verbal Behavior in which a full analysis of language was conducted. Essentially this means we look at the function of each word rather than the form. It is very common for a child with autism to be able to label an item (such as a cracker) but not know how to ask for one when they want it. In using a VB approach we take extra care to ensure that our learners acquire functional language skills.
Speech Therapy and Consultation
We integrate Speech Therapy and Speech consultation in with our ABA Therapy in order to better serve our clients. Children with a diagnosis of Autism often exhibit a speech and language delay. Integrating Speech Therapy into our programs allows continuous practice during therapy sessions to increase expressive, receptive and social skills. Our client's have the opportunity to practice language in naturally occurring settings that can easily be translated to a child’s natural environment. We provide speech and language training and consultation to our team members, families, and to the educators we work with.
Parent Training and Support
We offer parent training and support as a standard for all families. We encourage parent involvement, and target skills generalization to ensure success across environments. Our families receive the attention and support the deserve by a BCBA, working
in collaboration as an essential part of their child's team.
Home School Support
For families who provide home schooling to their child, we offer support in home, clinic, and community settings. We work closely with families to supplement home school curricula, to assist with wrapping services around each child based on his or her individual need.
Social opportunities are important when targeting social skills. We work with families and community organizations to create social opportunities for our clients, targeting these skills across environments.
Spotlight on Functional Communication
Meet Alex. Alex is using his first sign (American Sign Language) to request crackers during his school pictures. Through intensive ABA Therapy, Alex is learning to communicate his wants and needs to others. A special thanks to Alex for his hard work, his parents for being great advocates, and his school teachers for helping to generalize his skills in the classroom setting. His smile speaks volumes!