What is ABA?
Behavior analysis is a scientific approach to understanding behavior and how it is affected by the environment. "Behavior" refers to all kinds of actions and skills (not just misbehavior) and "environment" includes all sorts of physical and social events that might change or be changed by one's behavior. The science of behavior analysis focuses on principles (that is, general laws) about how behavior works, or how learning takes place. For example, one principle of behavior analysis is positive reinforcement. When a behavior is followed by something that is valued (a "reward"), that behavior is 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 be harmful or that interfere with learning. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the use of those techniques and principles to address socially important problems, and to bring about meaningful behavior change.
What Teaching Methods Are Under The ABA Umbrella?
Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is a highly structured and intense form of ABA and typically occurs at a table. Each teachable moment is planned, separate, and distinct. Each target is typically repeated in a trial of 10. DTT is beneficial for students that require more repetition. The sequenced form of instruction has 3 steps: 1.SD (instruction) 2. Response 3. Consequence. Generalization is difficult in DTT and must be planned. Behavior Matters LLC uses DTT to introduce and teach skills and then quickly moves onto NET to help generalize the concept or skill.
Natural Environment Training (NET)
Natural Environment Training (NET) is a more natural form of utilizing ABA and is conducted in the child's typical environment. Everyday household objects and toys are used as teaching materials and the rewards for correct responses are natural. The teacher has a curriculum (list of targets to teach) in mind and makes it portable. The targets are inserted in activities, games, and play. The child's motivation and interests are a main factor in NET; most children do not recognize they are "working". Generalization is built into this teaching strategy.
Pivotal Response Training (PRT)
Pivotal Response Training (PRT) is another form of naturalistic ABA and is used to teach language, decrease disruptive/self-stimulatory behaviors, and increase social, communication, and academic skills by focusing on critical or pivotal behaviors that affect a wide range of behaviors. The primary pivotal behaviors are motivation and child's initiations of communications with others. The goal of PRT is to produce positive changes in the pivotal behaviors, leading to improvement in communication skills, play skills, social behaviors and the child's ability to monitor his own behavior. Motivational strategies include the variation of tasks, revisiting mastered tasks to ensure the child retains acquired skills, rewarding attempts, and the use of direct and natural reinforcement.
Play-Based Techniques which builds on a child's own interests or obsessions, to develop relationships and social/communication skills.