ABA PROGRAM: A Developmental Curriculum
ABA therapy is a scientifically proven intervention approach which uses principles that increase skills and decrease challenging behavior by using positive reinforcement strategies. Research shows that children who enter early intervention at a young age can progress to a point where they no longer meet criteria for autism because the autistic symptoms are no longer noticeable behaviorally. The best ABA programs consider the family as an integral part of the ABA treatment by educating the caregivers in behavioral preventions strategies to make sure that those who are caring for the child can capitalize on teachable moments as they occur, provide learning opportunities during daily routines, and facilitate the generalization of learned skills across environments.
The program covers the following developmental areas:
Language Processing and Production
Language production is the process by which we communicate verbally and non-verbally our needs, feelings, and thoughts in our social environment. A comprehensive knowledge base is necessary for one to develop this communicative ability. This knowledge base extends beyond the act of labeling and classifying objects, people, and events. Effective communication is considered meaningful only when what is communicated by one person (the speaker) is understood by another (the listener).
The organization helps us to create an accessible database where information can be quickly retrieved to assist with planning, problem-solving, and help us assimilate new knowledge efficiently. In this module, young learners develop strong language and thinking skills. Each lesson is designed to teach common vocabulary words, sentence forms and structures, sequencing, pronouns, asking and answering questions, classification, comparisons, and concepts necessary for building a strong foundation for verbal reasoning and reading comprehension.
Cognitive Development Through Play
Play is a critical component in the formation of children’s cognitive, emotional, and social development. Through play, children test hypotheses, engage in social interactions with adults and peers, and develop linguistic skills as they direct and narrate their play activities. This module teaches the learner specific cognitive, self-regulative processes, and communication abilities by engaging in various developmentally appropriate play activities.
Cognitive Organization and Planning
The development of cognitive organization and planning behavior is crucial for the development of learning abilities. The inability to organize and plan may have a direct effect on the learner’s ability to perform tasks and function efficiently in daily life. In this module, the learner explores and focuses attention on details through games, stories, and construction play. Through these activities, the learner is introduced to the process of developing a plan, organizing thoughts, setting goals, carrying out the activities to execute the plan while monitoring progress and making necessary adjustments to reach the goal.
The ability to learn is largely dependent on the ability to process and express emotions, which is the key to participating in verbal and non-verbal communication and is considered the foundation for reciprocity within a social interaction. In this module the learner develops the ability to express feelings toward people and the environment and interpret and respond to a broad range of emotions.
Self-control of one’s behavior is necessary in developing social competency later in life. It involves teaching children to think about their own thinking and behavior, and to respond appropriately to a present situation. In this module, the learner develops physical self-control and then learns how to apply it and practice it in different social situations to control impulses, transition properly from one activity to another, modulate emotional responses appropriately, and engage in systematic problem solving rather than trial-and-error behavior.
Perspective Taking Through Play
Perspective taking involves the ability to infer the thinking behind the social actions of people and the related consequences. In this module, the learner develops the ability to comprehend concepts related to wants, desires, feelings, thinking, knowing, and believing. The learner begins by viewing objects in different ways and then transfers the concepts he/she learns to help consider the feelings, viewpoints, and perspectives of other people.