ABA Programmes

What is ABA?

ABA stands for Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). ABA is a science devoted to the understanding of human behaviour, which utilises then principles of learning and motivation to teach effectively. It is the application of the science of Behaviour Analysis. The core concept is that the consequence of what we do effects what we learn and therefore what we will do in the future

What is an ABA programme?

ABA programmes, sometimes referred to as Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention, VB therapy or similar are the use of ‘tools” which utilise the science of Behaviour Analysis and aim to bring about socially significant change. Some of the “tools” used in ABA programmes include: careful consideration and manipulation of reinforcement principles, analysis of verbal operants (Skinner, 1957) prompting, shaping, task analysis, chaining and functional assessment.

In ABA programmes the broad aim is to identify and understand a child’s skill deficits in areas such as communication, listener, play, imitation, social, academic, gross & fine motor skills and to teach these skills using ABA “tools” to lessen such deficits. While at the same time identifying behavioural excesses that can function as barriers to a child learning such as challenging behaviour, non- compliance and self- stimulatory behaviours and put strategies in to reduce such barriers.

What can an ABA programme teach?

ABA can be used to teach children any socially significant skills that they may have deficits in. Examples include:

  • Communication skills- increasing a child's ability to make requests (manding) either vocally or Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), question asking, conversational skills
  • Listener skills- following instructions, receptive language
  • Vocal skills- encouraging the use of speech sounds, vocal imitation, improving articulation 
  • Cognitive skills- visual perception, attending, math, reading, comprehension 
  • Motor skills- improving fine, gross and oral motor skills 
  • Expressive language skills- labelling, commenting, responding, syntax and grammer 
  • Play skills- independent play, turn taking, sharing, expanding interests, pretend play
  • Social skills- imitation, peer interaction, eye contact, joint attention, inferencing 
  • Daily living skills- toileting, feeding, expanding range of foods eaten, dressing, grooming 

Who delivers the ABA programme? 

ABA programmes are most commonly delivered by ABA tutors/ therapists who work on a self- employed basis. Often family members will be trained up and take on some responsibility for delivering the ABA programme in addition to have a ABA tutors/ therapists. 
As part of the intake process we can offer assistance in recruiting ABA tutors/ therapists to work with your child 

ABA programmes can be delivered in the home, school setting or in the community 

How is an ABA programme set up?

Abacus Learning provides ABA consultancy, following this intake process: 

1) An initial baseline assessment will be completed on your child, examples of assessments used at Abacus Learning include:

  • The Verbal Behaviour Milestones Assessment and Placement Programme (VB-MAPP, Sundberg)
  • The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-revised (ABLLS-r, Partington)
  • The Assessment of Functional Living Skills (Partington, 2013)
  • Essentials for Living (McCreedy, 2012)

2) Following this an individualised ABA programme will be designed for your child and IEP goals developed. 

3) Once this is complete training will be delivered to provide theoretical training on components of ABA and hands on coaching on how to deliver your child's ABA programme. 

4) Follow up training for tutors/ family and meetings to review IEP goals will then be arranged at regular intervals 

Who is qualified to provide ABA consultancy? 

In order to be qualified to independently design, direct and guide ABA programming for children with autism a person must be registered with the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board (http://bacb.com). There are currently just over 200 Board Certified Behaviour Analysts in the UK
How do I get started?

We offer a 1 hour initial consultation free of charge and obligation. Please contact us to arrange this 

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