Lesson 2 Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis

Contents

The science of Applied Behavior Analysis can be thought of as the science of learning.  It helps us explain how the environment or events surrounding a behavior either increase or decrease the liklihood that the behavior will occur again in the future.  While we are specifically applying it to the teaching of children with Autism, the same principles affect anyone or anything that "learns".

What is ABA?

BA is the science of Applied Behavior Analysis. It provides a structure for looking at human behaviors, what causes them and how to make them increase or decrease. It also provides a basic structure for teaching new skills (In other words, teaching behaviors we want to increase!)

What is a discrete trial?

A Discrete Trial is a technique that involves:

a) Breaking a skill into smaller parts

b) Teaching one sub-skill at a time until mastery

c) Providing concentrated teaching

d) Providing prompting and prompt fading as necessary

e) Using reinforcement procedures

A discrete trial consists of an antecedent, behavior and consequence and how me manipulate these contingencies determines whether a behavior will increase or decrease.

What is Natural Environment Teaching?

Natural Environment Teaching is a technique used in ABA/VB programs to promote generalization of skills. The technique involves using the environment the child interacts with on a daily basis to teach target behaviors. It focuses on using the child’s MO/EO in the natural environment to teach target behaviors.Because opportunities don’t always occur multiple times a day, it may be necessary to set-up multiple opportunities in the natural environment, i.e. when you are teaching a child to wash his hands, you may increase the number of messy activities you engage in, so that you have more opportunities to teach him how to wash his hands.

What is Intensive Teaching?

Intensive Table Teaching is a technique used in ABA/VB programs to provide intensive practice of skills using discrete trials and an average rate of instruction. Each teaching session involves repeated trials, with each trial having a distinct beginning (the instruction), a behavior (child’s response) and a Consequence (reinforcement or prompt- fade prompt).

Gabrielle Trapenberg,MA,ABA,BCBA

Tracy Vail,MS,CCC/SLP

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