Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)
Children with ASD and/or developmental delay can and do learn from their environment with the right approach. Through the science of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) with Verbal Behaviour (VB), we can learn to change their environment in ways that make learning motivating.
The development of the VB approach to Applied Behaviour Analysis, in addition to the more traditional methods allows us to design individualised programmes with a strong emphasis on communication. A good ABA/VB programme is designed to teach your child the reasons behind communicating and interacting with the social world. It is connecting your child with the natural reinforcement that will motivate him to form relationships and learning choices beyond the teaching setting. VB has moved ABA beyond the rote, repetitive, table learning of its past and developed it into a natural, relationship building, holistic learning program.
VB is both a philosophy of ABA and a series of evidence-based teaching techniques that focus the principles of ABA on the acquisition of language skills.
The goal of any good ABA/VB programme is to identify the child’s naturally occurring motivation, capture it, and use it to help him learn. In doing so, we can begin to add new, more typical or appropriate desires to his list of motivating items while making his less appropriate motivators less important to him. ABA is the study of interactions and the application of that study to help people be more successful in meaningful ways. Reinforcement is the major principle that has been driving ABA and its successes over the years. This principle states that anything that happens after a behaviour and increases the likelihood of that behaviour recurring is a reinforcer for that behaviour.
Additionally, VB offers us a detailed understanding of motivation. Motivation is the reason your child will attempt a skill this time. Reinforcement is the reason he will have more internal motivation and require less external motivation the next time. Using motivation and reinforcement in unison will create an ever-increasing desire to accomplish any skill to which these two principles are consistently applied. Thanks to ABA, and in a large part to the advancements of the VB approach to ABA, more children are making important progress and recovering from the effects of autism every year. One of the main reasons for this success is the inclusion of parents as the most important teachers of their children. In modern Behaviorism, it is now understood that parents and teachers can be taught the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis and procedures of VB for themselves. Once they know these methods, they can begin grasping the opportunities presented during every daily interaction they have with the child.