Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Applied Behavior Analysis, often called “ABA therapy” is an intervention based on the science of behavior analysis. It is the most widely researched and supported treatment for children diagnosed with autism.
What is ABA?
ABA is an intervention developed from many decades of research into how people learn. This research has taught us that not all people learn the same way or are motivated by the same things. ABA defines learning into the smallest possible units, from which a truly individualized teaching plan can be developed. Children with autism may learn differently and thus need a different teaching approach. ABA helps develop, understand, and measure that teaching approach.
What will ABA look like for my child?
ABA therapy begins with a thorough assessment of your child. This will take many hours, sometimes several days, and involve several different professionals at Malama Pono. From this assessment an evaluation report will be generated which will detail your child's overall behavior and development and make recommendations on what specific areas ABA might be of help, define specific goals for those areas, and create the initial intervention strategies to address those areas.
ABA therapy can happen in many places including the school, home, and community settings. For most children we recommend starting treatment in a clinic or center where various professionals are present for evaluation and consultation and clinicians can have more control over the environment and other factors impacting learning and behavior. ABA is an intensive intervention and the specific amount of hours recommended will be based on the initial evaluation and assessment, the individual needs of the child, and input from parents. The hours, duration, and structure of the treatment plan is designed to create the very best outcomes for your child.
Several ABA philosophies are utilized at Malama Pono, including discrete trial instruction (DTT), natural environment teaching (NET) and teaching procedures reflective of the verbal behavior approach (VB) and Skinner’s analysis of language. ABA can be delivered directly 1:1 with child and therapist, can happen in small groups, and can be delivered in most any physical environment. At Malama Pono ABA therapy is delivered by a team of professionals consisting of RBTs who are closely supervised and guided by BCBAs onsite in the clinic. Speech, OTs, psychologists and other behavioral health professionals are onsite to help assist the team in evaluation and treatment planning and to provide consultation and support for parents.
ABA therapy for children with autism
Malama Pono adopts the science and philosophy of ABA as a foundational building block for all the interventions and programming we offer. ABA is an important treatment option for many children diagnosed with autism and can be integral to helping children become the best and brightest version of themselves they can be.