Behavioral specialists and technicians have trained and prepared a variety of games, scenarios, events, one-on-one, and group activities that address common and necessary behaviors. The strategies used will be specifically chosen to help your child improve in the areas where he/she is struggling and can look like playing, building, exercising, singing, or many other methods of teaching. Dr. Forte and her team have over 20 years of experience helping children from all across the spectrum and will build a behavioral development plan that fits each child.
- Positive Reinforcement. A child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may not know how to respond in certain situations. In this technique, when they do something correctly, a properly trained professional will use positive reinforcement immediately to encourage this behavior in the future.
- Task Analysis. This helps learn about your child rather than correct or reinforce behavior. A behavioral analyst will give a child a task and watch how they perform it. The analysis is broken down into categories including: physical actions, cognitive actions, and environment. Our staff will analyze how your child performs tasks and use the information to make other tasks easier for him/her.
- Generalization. This is a model to help the child learn to apply the responses they have been taught in multiple situations. A behavior technician will take what the child has learned in one setting and apply it to other settings. For instance, if a child knows how to sing the alphabet, the teacher can take their knowledge of the alphabet and try to apply it to other things, such as teaching the child to spell their name.
- Picture Exchange Communication Systems. The PECS system is a common part of most ABA programs and something you are probably already familiar with. Young children in ABA therapy usually struggle with expressing themselves. PECSs are cards with graphics that show everyday terms. As the therapists gradually build skills with the picture exchange communication system, over time, children will expand their vocabulary by repeating the words. The child will eventually learn how to put sentences together with the picture cards. The ultimate goal will be to have the children move away from the cards completely or use them sparingly while verbally communicating.
- Peer-Mediated Social Skills Training. It is common that children learn social skills better from peers their own age than adults. That’s why the applied behavior analysts will use the peer-mediated social skills training technique. Peer-mediated social skills training helps children with disabilities learn how to engage in social situations. Peer-mediated social skills training involves other children demonstrating appropriate behavior. Other children will then model the desired action or activity with verbal/nonverbal cues. It’s common to see students use the buddy system to complete these tasks which reinforce socialization as well as attention to instruction and detail.
There are many other techniques used in applied behavior analysis to correct problematic behaviors and more are being developed as researchers analyze the entire autism spectrum. Our doctors and specialists dedicate hours to continued education every year to ensure the children in our programs have the best modern resources and techniques.