ABA Therapy - Q&A

  • What is ABA?

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  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a treatment approach endorsed by the United States Surgeon General for individuals with autism. Within ABA, we utilize behavioral principles to increase developmental and functional skills while decreasing challenging behaviors. Target areas such as language, social, cognitive, and self-help skills are targeted with the use of reinforcement based principles. Data is collected on all behaviors and skills to ensure that adjustments are made as needed to the clients programming throughout treatment. 

  • What Does ABA Look Like?

  • Traditionally, ABA treatment is delivered with a 1:1 ratio, in which each client works directly with one therapist during treatment sessions. Skills are broken into smaller components and taught utilizing repetition, positive reinforcement, and prompting protocols to gain success. Some of the behavioral methods utilized include discrete trial training, naturalistic teaching, and verbal behavior interventions.

    • Discrete Trial Training (DTT) – DTT teaches skills in a structured and systematic manner with a clear instructions are provided, a specified response is provided, and a consequence (reinforcement) is provided for the correct response. 
    • Naturalistic Teaching – Naturalistic teaching looks to incorporate skills developed in DTT in the client’s natural environment. This approach ensures that the client can functionally utilize all skills in their day-to-day life and outside of the treatment setting. With naturalistic teaching approaches, client initiations and interactions in the natural environment are used as opportunities to increase functional and adaptive skills.
    • Verbal Behavior Interventions – Language is a powerful tool that helps individuals successfully interact with their environment and get their needs met. A large component of treatment looks to strengthen a client’s communication skills, whether it be verbal communication, sign language, or augmented communication devices.
  • Who Delivers Services?

    • Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) – The BCBA credential requires a master’s degree with specific coursework in behavior analysis, clinical supervision hours, in addition to passing a board exam. Additionally, in the state of Texas, BCBA’s are licensed providers. BCBAs are responsible for assessments, programming, supervision, staff training, caregiver training, and treatment modifications for clients. BCBAs are also responsible for providing assistance and training for client’s caregivers and any other individuals in the client’s life.
    • Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) – The BCaBA credential requires an undergraduate degree with specific coursework in behavior analysis, clinical supervision hours in the field, and passing a certification exam. BCaBAs are also licensed providers in the state of Texas. BCaBAs assist BCBAs with several aspects of service delivery, such as assisting in assessments, supervising staff, and evaluating treatment data. BCaBAs are required to practice under the supervision of a BCBA.
    • Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) – The RBT credential requires completion of a 40-hour training course that includes classroom based trainings and in-session competency assessments, and passing a certification exam. RBTs provide direct implementation of behavior interventions and treatments developed by BCBAs. A minimum of 5% of RBT hours of service delivery are required to be supervised by either a BCaBA or BCBA. SpecKids requires all direct care staff to become credentialed as an RBT, and complete our detailed in-house training. 
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