Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) still continues to be the most effective treatment for children with autism. However, even with empirical data to support its effectiveness, some parents are still apprehensive about it.
Much of that apprehension often comes from the anecdotal experiences of other families and/or what may be posted on social media platforms. The reality is that not all ABA is alike; some clinicians have evolved their approach by staying current with new research; while others have not been able to evolve with the field.
A New Approach
ABA in the past was often implemented in a very rigid manner, created by set protocols for each individual child without much flexibility. In addition, it often focused more on rote teaching by having too many set targets for kids.
Steps to Progress believes in a more flexible and contemporary approach to working with children with ASD. This all starts with how we train the staff who work directly with the kids the most, our Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs)! Our emphasis is on giving them the tools necessary to be effective at providing services by adjusting their approach as needed when they are working with each child.
Although standard programs and goals are created by our Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), our BCBAs do not set specific prompt sequences, which would result in rigidity in the implementation of the programs. Motivation is a huge part of what we aim to teach our RBTs and the approach we take with our kids. We challenge ourselves constantly to determine what the child is motivated by and use that as a way to build a positive learning environment.
We work on teaching our staff to focus more on catching the kids doing the correct and appropriate behavior instead of providing corrective feedback too often. As we walk through the clinic our goal is to hear positive feedback towards the kids such as: “great sitting,” “I really like how you are paying attention,” “nice talking” etc. instead of “Pay attention!” or “That’s not it!”
Join the conversation to learn more about working with kids with autism.