Applied behaviour analysis (ABA) is defined as the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviours to a meaningful degree, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement in behaviour.
ABA must be behavioural, behaviour itself must change, not just what the consumer says about the behaviour. It is not the goal of the behaviour scientists to get their consumers to stop complaining about behaviour problems, but rather to change the problem behaviour itself. In addition, behaviour must be objectively measured. A behaviour scientist cannot resort to the measurement of non-behavioural substitutes. (Obviously multidisciplinary work within behaviour and psychology may include, for example, analysis of cognition or demographics and exploration of the individual as well, where experimental standards are maintained.)
In the doing ABA, we have realized how important play skills are for children and especially children with autism. It is during play that children learn:
- Appropriate behavior
- Task completion
- Turn taking
- Building relationships
- Joint attention
- Appropriate language
- Tolerance to a variety of ways to play with toys
- Reciprocal interaction
- Diagnostic Assessment: A diagnostic assessment provides information related to your child’s diagnosis and is completed by a psychologist.
- Developmental Assessment:Norm-referenced developmental assessments provide information about how your child is developing in all areas compared to peers his or her own age. Developmental Assessments measure cognition, communication, motor, adaptive, and social skills.
- Domain Specific Assessment Specialized: assessments are available for each area of development. For example, a number of assessments exist for the sole purpose of assessing language development.
- Criterion-Referenced Assessments: Criterion-referenced assessments provide information about skills that in your child’s repertoire. Criterion-referenced assessments are not designed to diagnose or to measure delay but rather to determine what skills your child is able to perform as well as what skills your child should learn next.
- Other Assessments: Your child should also have other assessments completed as often as necessary. These assessments include preference assessments, functional behavioural assessments, and skill probes. These measures should be regular components of your child’s educational program.