A key fundamental aspect of Applied Behavior Analysis lies in contingencies surrounded by positive reinforcement. Typical forms of positive reinforcement include preferred social praise, toys, games, snacks, stickers, etc.
Reinforcement is used in order to increase motivation for your child's learning and individual programming. Essentially, our initial goal is to assess what is most motivating for your child and then incorporate those items into their intervention plans and curriculum.
The final goal of any ABA program is to ensure that these motivating tools are faded out and replaced by the most natural rewards for that of a typically developing peer (e.g., social praise, stickers, allowance, etc.)
Teaching in small steps
Many skills that we, as parents or caregivers, don't often think about as complicated or difficult may need to be further broken down in order to effectively teach to a child. Part of ABA therapy is to systematically break down common skills (e.g., brushing teeth, cleaning up toys, getting dressed, etc.) into smaller skills in order to focus on each step required to complete the task as a whole.
For example, the task of 'washing hands' can be broken down into:
Turn on water
Get hands wet
Reach for soap
Turn off water
Prompting is a technical way of
explaining the different methods
a therapist can use to encourage
a learner from incorrect
responding to correct responding.
For example, when calling a
child's name to obtain eye
contact, you may place your finger
in front of your eyes as a prompt
to shift their gaze.
By breaking these skills down, we
can more effectively teach the
specific area that your child may
need specialized care in learning.
It's important that a skill taught in a
structured setting with a trained
therapist should be programmed
(by the BCBA) for generalization and maintenance. Ensuring that the child
has several opportunities to
demonstrate this skill throughout the days/weeks/months ahead will plan