Georgia Neurobehavioral Associates' Behavior Analysts have received extensive training in ABA practices and employ a strength-based approach in their application. Treatment can be provided in the clinic, home, school and community settings. The goals of intervention are not only to improve behavior, but also to enhance the overall quality of life for children and families.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Applied Behavior Analysis is an empirically based teaching methodology involving the application of basic behavioral principles to teach socially significant behaviors including language, play, academic, motor, self-help, and adaptive living skills. One such behavior principle is positive reinforcement, when a behavior is followed by a reward then the behavior is likely to increase or occur again. The strategies can be effective in reducing challenging behaviors such as aggression, destruction, self-injurious behaviors, etc. ABA includes a broad range of techniques that are effective with individuals of all ages and individuals with autism and other developmental disorders. The methodology utilizes teaching techniques such as incidental teaching, discrete trial teaching, verbal behavior, and pivotal response training, as well as many other scientifically proven strategies.
SKILLS ASSESSMENT-The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills- Revised (ABLLS-R)/Skills for Autism
The ABLLS-R and Skills for Autism is a device for assessing skills in children with language and learning difficulties and is most commonly used in the process of developing a behavioral program for children on the autism spectrum. ABLLS-R has many advantages in guiding the development of a program for a child with language deficits because it is an assessment, curriculum guide, and skills tracking system. The ABLLS-R/Skills for Autism contains a task analysis of the many skills necessary to communicate successfully and to learn from everyday experiences.
The assessment process may range anywhere from 2-6 hours for the initial assessment with a child. Once the assessment is finished and a comprehensive analysis and interpretation of data is complete, a compilation of results will be provided in a thorough report completed by the clinician. Following the assessment, a session will be needed with the family to discuss results and recommendations.
DIRECT 1-1 ABA THERAPY/TREATMENT
Once a comprehensive evaluation of the learner’s skills is conducted to assist in creating an individualized intervention plan, intense 1-1 therapy sessions may then be conducted to address the needs of the child. Parent training is also a component to assist with the generalization and process of new skills. A minimum of 4-hours per week is usually suggested. Each session may be up to 2 hours in length, depending on the child.
Treatment may be provided solely by a BCBA or a direct behavioral therapist may be trained to work with the child through supervision of the BCBA. Progress is monitored through data collection and is shared with the caregivers. The data is what guides the treatment decisions, thus it is a very important tool and crucial for any 1-1 ABA therapy progress.
FUNCTIONAL BEHAVIOR ASSESSMENT (FBA)
A functional behavior assessment is generally considered to be a problem-solving process for addressing a child’s problem behavior. It relies on a variety of techniques and strategies to identify the purposes of specific behavior and to help select interventions to directly address the problem behavior.
A functional behavior assessment looks beyond the behavior itself. The focus when conducting a functional behavior assessment is on identifying maintaining variables, pupil-specific, social, affective, cognitive, and/or environmental factors associated with the occurrence (and non-occurrence) of specific behaviors. This broader perspective offers a better understanding of the function or purpose behind a child’s problem behavior. Behavioral intervention plans based on an understanding of “why” a child misbehaves are extremely useful in addressing a wide range of problem behaviors.
A functional behavioral assessment will consist of 1-3 evaluation sessions with your child to assess behavior in various situations and maintaining variables. Then a 1-2 hour session with the parents/caregivers to discuss implementation of behavioral intervention plans.
BEHAVIOR SUPPORT CONSULTATION/PARENT TRAINING
Consultation time will be spent with parent(s) or caregivers to discuss ongoing problem behaviors and conduct parent trainings. Consultations with parents may or may not have the child present for the session, depending on the child’s immediate needs. If a functional behavior assessment has not been completed and the child is unlikely to elicit problem behaviors with the clinician, indirect recommendations and interventions may be utilized as a structured descriptive assessment to help in guiding the recommendations and interventions.
All of the above services can be applied to school districts, classrooms, and educators’ needs to assist children with developmental disabilities in the school environment. Assistance may also be provided through consultations in Behavior Intervention Plan writing, IEP goal writing, etc. The behavior support consultations are generally billed at an hourly rate.
SOCIAL SKILLS GROUPS/TRAINING
The groups are designed to meet the individualized needs of each child, and to provide a safe and secure environment in which they can practice and learn the new social skills confidently. Groups consist of approximately 2-5 children, similar in age and needs. Each child is assessed for their individual social skills needs, and sessions are structured specific to those needs. Such skills may include conversation, eye contact, joint attention, listening, expressing feelings, cooperative play, etc. The sessions may include a snack, art activity, team building, role playing, video modeling, and so forth. At the end of sessions, homework will be provided and parents will need to cooperate in assisting each child to carry over the target skills they are working on in sessions to increase generalization.