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Welcome to Parent Academy online site!  The staff of ABA/Autism programs at NBTECC, Judd Elementary School, Linwood Middle School and North Brunswick Township High School welcome you to our parent training website. Currently, North Brunswick runs self-contained ABA programs at the following levels:
PreSchool, Elementary, Middle and High School

In addition to this, each school in the district provides a continuum of supports for students in less restrictive settings.  The philosophy and self contained program components can be located under the "Resource for Parents" section.

We invite you to use this website as a resource, get updated information about our programs and familiarize yourself with Applied Behavior Analysis, Verbal Behavior, Language/Communication, Behavior Strategies, Toilet Training, Activity Schedules, AAC devices, Sensory Strategies and much more!

What is ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis)?
  • Behavior analysis focuses on the principles that explain how learning takes place. 
  • Positive reinforcement is one such principle. When a behavior is followed by some sort of reward, the behavior is more likely to be repeated. 
  • Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning.
  • Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior.
  • These techniques can be used in structured situations such as a classroom lesson as well as in "everyday" situations such as lunch in the cafeteria and recess. Some ABA sessions involve one-on-one interaction. Group instruction can likewise prove useful.
Why ABA?
  • Behavior analysis is a scientifically validated approach to understanding behavior and how it is affected by the environment.

  • In this context, “behavior" refers to actions and skills. "Environment" includes any influence – physical or social – that might change or be changed by one's behavior.

  • On a practical level, the principles and methods of behavior analysis have helped many different kinds of learners acquire many different skills – from healthier lifestyles to the mastery of a new language.

  • Since the 1960s, therapists have been applying behavior analysis to help children with autism and related developmental disorders.

  • Today, ABA is widely recognized as a safe and effective treatment for autism. 

  • It has been endorsed by a number of state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Surgeon General, Maine Department of Public Health, and the New York State Department of Health. 

  • Over the last decade, the nation has seen a particularly dramatic increase in the use of ABA to help persons with autism live happy and productive lives. 

  • In particular, ABA principles and techniques can foster basic skills such as looking, listening and imitating, as well as complex skills such as reading, conversing and understanding another person’s perspective.

ABA Research
  • A number of completed studies have demonstrated that ABA techniques can produce improvements in communication, social relationships, play, self care, school and employment.

  • These studies involved age groups ranging from preschoolers to adults.

  • Results for all age groups showed that ABA increased participation in family and community activities.

  • Such studies have demonstrated that many children with autism experience significant improvements in learning, reasoning, communication and adaptability when they participate in high-quality ABA programs.

  • Across studies, a small percentage of children show relatively little improvement.

    • More research is needed to determine why some children with autism respond more favorably to early intensive ABA than others do.

    • Currently, it remains difficult to predict the extent to which a particular child will benefit.

What does ABA look like in the classroom?
  • Effective ABA intervention for autism is not a "one size fits all" approach and should never be viewed as a "canned" set of programs or drills.

  • On the contrary, a skilled therapist customizes the intervention to each learner's skills, needs, interests, preferences and family situation.

  • For these reasons, an ABA program for one learner will look different than a program for another learner.

  • That said, quality ABA programs for learners with autism have the following in common:
    1) Ongoing Assessment
    *A qualified behavior analyst designs and directly oversees the intervention.
    * The analyst’s development of treatment goals stems from a detailed assessment of each learner's skills and preferences and may also include family goals.

    * Treatment goals and instruction are developmentally appropriate and target a broad range of skill areas such as communication, sociability, self-care, play and leisure, motor development and academic skills.

    * Goals emphasize skills that will enable learners to become independent and successful in both the short and long terms.

    * The instruction plan breaks down desired skills into manageable steps to be taught from the simplest (e.g. imitating single sounds) to the more complex (e.g. carrying on a conversation).

    * The intervention involves ongoing objective measurement of the learner’s progress.

    *Regular review of progress and adjustments made as needed.

    

    2) Use of ABA Techniques and Philosophy

    *A qualified behavior analyst designs and directly oversees the intervention.

    * The analyst’s development of treatment goals stems from a detailed assessment of each learner's skills and preferences and may also include family goals.

    * Treatment goals and instruction are developmentally appropriate and target a broad range of skill areas such as communication, sociability, self-care, play and leisure, motor development and academic skills.

    * Goals emphasize skills that will enable learners to become independent and successful in both the short and long terms.

    * The instruction plan breaks down desired skills into manageable steps to be taught from the simplest (e.g. imitating single sounds) to the more complex (e.g. carrying on a conversation).

    * The intervention involves ongoing objective measurement of the learner’s progress.

    *Regular review of progress and adjustments made as needed.

What kind of progress can I expect with ABA?

  • Competently delivered ABA intervention can help learners with autism make meaningful changes in many areas. However, changes do not typically occur quickly.

  • Rather, most learners require intensive and ongoing instruction that builds on their step-by-step progress. Moreover, the rate of progress – like the goals of intervention – varies considerably from person to person depending on age, level of functioning, family goals and other factors.

  • Some learners do acquire skills quickly.

    • But typically, this rapid progress happens in just one or two particular skill areas such as reading, while much more instruction and practice is needed to master another skill area such as interacting with peers.
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                        Adapted from www.autismspeaks.com


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  35k v. 1 Sep 7, 2015, 2:19 PM Catherine Havens
Subpages (1): Resources for Parents
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