Wednesday, 25 May 2011

ABA Therapy within the Classroom Environment

At MM our primary instructional philosophy is Applied Behaviour Analysis.

All  therapist/teacher have been trained in the successful application of ABA for visual and hands-on learners. We possess a thorough understanding of special education in addition to an in depth understanding the characteristics of Autism and other DDs.

We have done lots research, and found that there is tons of evidence to support the application of principles of ABA within the classroom environment; children as young as 2.5 can, and often should, begin some kind of ABA program as soon as possible.  We believe in using motivation and reinforcement successfully to demonstrate an increase in on-task behaviour as early as pre-school.Our staff are trained in our ABA teaching philosophies, and are skilled at using positive reinforcement to motivate learning. Understanding the function of each behaviour allows our teachers to maximum possible learning, while minimizing behaviours which distract and/or deter learning.

Within the classroom setting, children learn in a variety of instructional methods including through 1:1 Discrete Trial Training (i.e. what is typically thought of at the table work), group instruction, sing-a-longs, fill in the blanks, interactive games, and other activities which correspond to various domains including in the ABA curriculum. Our classroom programs are a great way to enhance existing ABA therapy, while generalizing and maintaining skills; our classrooms may also be a suitable option for a child currently enrolled just beginning or just finishing an ABA program , and whose next goal is full or partial integration. Maintaining and generalizing skills is an essential part of a successful intervention for children with Autism; it has to be actively planned for...train & hope just won't cut it.

At Magnificent Minds, ABA manifests in behavioural policies, where evidence-based tactics like response-cost, token systems and level systems (see stop light) are used to provide visual indicators of behaviour change, while providing visual reminders of expectation. Using most to least prompting is one way to ensure maximum learner confidence on a daily basis.

On a tour through out facility, you will notice systematically placed visual aides to support successful and independent transitions; some of these include PECS which represent hall way rules. Images are meant as a way to systematically fade 1:1 support, increase independence and overall readiness for a larger school environment.

Using the Ministry mandated curriculum, in combination with the ABLLS-R ABA Curriculum, it is easy to track progress within our students, monitor success and account for behaviour change.

Thoughts? Let me know!

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