The ABA Breakdown
ABA is a structured, data-driven way to change behavior by looking at what is reinforcing it. Behavior that is reinforced tends to be repeated, and behavior that is not reinforced will disappear. The practice concentrates on antecedents (environmental situations that occur before the behavior) and consequences.
People often believe “consequence” is a negative term, but instead, think about it as what happens after a behavior. In ABA, we focus on the positive side of this principle to teach new skills and minimize other actions. One technique starts with a prompt, and when therapists get the responses they are looking for, they introduce a reinforcer to let the kids know it’s a good thing they want to see again…a high five, toy, snack or some other kind of praise.
Using ABA to teach consists of breaking down activities into smaller pieces in order to tackle larger goals. It may take a little longer for kids with autism to learn certain tasks that come naturally to others because their minds work in a different way. Our goal is to make sure we give them the attention and means to the same opportunities so they can reach their own goals.
Sample ABA Schedules
We focus on early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI), which is traditionally geared toward children ages 18 months to 7 years, though we can tailor programs for kids as young as 15 months and up to age 10. Evidence shows consistent and comprehensive therapy for 20 to 40 hours over five days per week yields the best clinical outcomes. Hopebridge specializes in providing clinical recommendations and therapy for children who meet the criteria for both full- and part-time schedules. Here is what a schedule might look like for your kiddo: