When a school of any kind seeks to meet federal mandates about inclusion they often have to consider ways of upgrading the staffs education. This is one of the primary reasons that schools seek out ABA training. This is a type of training that uses the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to develop teaching strategies for children with disabilities like ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders). It is actually the primary method used when any sort of research is done on the development of treatments for Autism, and is considered one of the only effective therapies currently available.
Remember, the ABA training itself is not going to actually be applied to the student, but will instead give the teacher the tools that they need in order to identify some of the reasoning for a student's behaviors and to then formulate a teaching strategy that can help to alter any negative behaviors. A good example of ABA training at work would include a student with a tendency towards anti-social behaviors and the parents and teachers who used their ABA training to develop a treatment plan.
Let us say that this child had always shown a tendency towards isolated play time and had failed to develop adequate language skills. The parents and teachers who had received the training would have learned how to observe that child for any indicators of the reasons for the behavior. They would then apply their learning to create a plan for positive reinforcement of the behaviors desired, and a precise teaching strategy to begin training that child to learn how to behave in a more productive and meaningful way.
For instance, the parents and teachers might observe that the child preferred to play with a certain set of toys. This is information that could be used to begin teaching that child about the value of communication with a peer. Once that child begins to show signs of a change in behavior, such as seeking out a parent or teacher to play with the preferred toys, this would then be expanded upon to include an ever-widening set of peers or playmates. In this way, the child would have received positive reinforcement of their behaviors and also learned how to communicate more.
Naturally, it isn't as simple or straightforward as that, but the use of ABA training is going to give both the parents and the educators the tools or skill set that they need to get the best results possible.
Garrett Butch is the father of a 6 year old with autism and the founder of Maximum Potential Group.
Maximum Potential has developed courses that train parents, therapists and school systems how to work with children with autism.
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