Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy helps children with autism learn skills and lessen problematic behavior. It is designed to help children with autism develop emotional and social skills. According to the CDC, around 1 in every 44 children in the United States has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder.
In this blog post, we will highlight common and effective ABA therapy techniques that you might encounter if your child takes part in ABA therapy. This includes both positive and negative reinforcements, task analysis, and prompting and fading. Let’s get started with this guide to ABA therapy.
Table of Contents
Positive and Negative Reinforcements
A child with a social or learning disability may not know the right way to respond in certain situations. When a child does do something correctly, the use of positive reinforcement encourages this behavior or action again in the future.
There are a number of different reinforcement schedules used in ABA therapy. These include:
- Continuous schedule
- Fixed ratio
- Fixed interval
- Variable ratio
- Variable interval
There are, of course, instances when a child will not act properly. This behavior should be corrected immediately. When it comes to negative reinforcement, any punishments should be applied consistently. That is because inconsistent punishments for incorrect behavior are more confusing than effective for a child.
Within ABA therapy, task analysis is a teaching process that works to break down complex activities into simple steps. By breaking down a task into smaller, more manageable steps, children are able to remain focused (and avoid frustration) when completing a task.
Task analysis is broken down into various categories. These include physical actions, cognitive actions, repetition, allocation, and environment.
For example, if the child’s task is to correctly brush their teeth, the process is first broken down into several small steps, which the child is able to follow more easily.
Prompting and Fading
In ABA therapy, a prompt is a hint or cue meant to induce a child to perform a desired action or behavior. Prompts are a kind of artificial support.
Fading, then, is the practice of weaning a child off prompts. It refers to decreasing the level of assistance that the child requires to complete an action or task.
Given that the overall goal when teaching a skill is for the child to eventually engage in it independently, prompting and fading is an excellent and common ABA therapy technique. Click here to learn more about center based ABA services.
Common ABA Therapy Techniques
ABA therapy helps kids with autism to increase communication and language skills. It also helps to improve focus, memory, attention, and social skills, while decreasing problem behaviors. If you are interested in learning more about ABA therapy, we recommend that you speak with a trained professional.
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