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ABA figura fondamentale per il lavoro

ABA, FIELDWORK: THE BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS TECHNICIAN.

The Behavior Analysis Technician (TAC) commonly referred to as “the ABA worker/therapist” is a key figure within the work team that takes charge of the user. It is the figure who works directly in the field and therefore must implement the planned interventions based on the application of Behavior Analysis.

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ABA Behavior Analysis Technician – discover Abaco Cloud – soon available

In order to become a certified TAC it is necessary to attend a Course (among those suggested by the recognized bodies) that includes lectures, internship supervised by a certified Behavior Analyst and a final exam.

The technician must acquire skills that pertain to:

know the general principles of behavior analysis
know and implement the procedures set forth in ABA,
adhere to the user’s individualized curriculum and goals defined by the Analyst
identify problem behaviors and know how to do a functional analysis
monitor through data sockets the objectives
intervene in the contexts of life in which the user is inserted (school, family….) in order to ensure consistency and continuity of education in the project initiated for each child and young person

  • know the general principles of behavior analysis
  • know and implement the procedures set forth in ABA,
    adhere to the user’s individualized curriculum and goals defined by the Analyst
  • identify problem behaviors and know how to do a functional analysis
    monitor through data sockets the objectives
  • intervene in the contexts of life in which the user is inserted (school, family….) in order to ensure consistency and continuity of education in the project initiated for each child and young person

We posed a series of questions to a professional with a TAC title who works at an Association of Parents with Children with Disabilities and is part of a team that includes in addition to behavior technicians, an Assistant Behavior Analyst and a Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Her first-hand experience here:

Why the choice to become a Behavior Analysis technician?

I strongly believe that through Applied Behavior Analysis we can dramatically improve the quality of life for children and families who experience a “unique” reality full of obstacles.

My goal is to work so that these kids can become an active and integral part of their social context.

Becoming a behavior analysis technician has allowed me to deepen, acquire, and apply specific knowledge.

Work within a team. How does work coordination occur?

After taking charge of the user following an initial assessment, the Analyst prepares the individualized project with specific goals. I believe that the communication between the technician and his colleagues, the Assistant Analyst and the Behavior Analyst, is fundamental to carry out the project. It is an indispensable network that obviously involves the family and also other figures who are part of the child’s or young person’s life.

My task is to create all the optimal conditions to welcome the user by preparing the necessary material and data sockets for the work session.

Teamwork is crucial at every stage, the comparison between the various professionals allows us to be efficient and effective in the management of the case.

Working in “science and conscience”. How?

“Science and conscience”: a combination driven by integrity and ethical and moral responsibility.

I’m 37 years old, I’ve been working for many years in the disability field, I’m convinced that to be useful you need to have respect for yourself and others, a great sense of responsibility and do your job with passion and dedication and above all continuing to study and acquire skills and knowledge of proven scientific effectiveness.

ABA is a science and therefore requires collection of information and data that is measurable, quantifiable, and replicable. What happens in the field?

The collection of information and data is the basis of our work, it allows us to monitor the objectives, to be clear about what we are doing and how we are proceeding.

During each session we are “flanked” by binders that contain a user database: data sockets to be filled in during or at the end of the work. An archive of data and information that accompanies the user and is shared among the technicians who work with the same user and the Analyst on a constant basis.

What could ABACO contribute to your work??

Abaco would make a huge contribution to our work and the reasons are obvious.

At the operational level, it would allow us to simplify and at the same time make our work more efficient: binders that increase in volume, cards that multiply, difficulty in consulting them, time taken to record data… I could go on and on….

A system like Abaco simplifies in a decisive way the comparison and control of data by all the figures that deal with the user, making the work of ‘team immediate, simple and clear.

Need more information? Contact us

Abaco would allow immediate accessibility to data and ease in filling out data-taking forms.

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ABA AND AUTISM

There is no single therapeutic treatment for autism. Given the complexity and heterogeneity of the clinical picture and symptoms of individuals with autism spectrum disorder, an integrated therapeutic project is necessary. During the developmental age, the therapeutic interventions implemented are aimed at:
  • Reduce or correct maladaptive behaviors;
  • Direct development so that skills can emerge that promote subject/environment adaptation;
  • Promote good emotional adjustment (impulse control, frustration tolerance, regulation of emotional states, adequate self-image).
Aba e Autismo - Abaco Blog
Aba and Autism – Abaco Blog
(SINPIA, 2005) The treatment plan indicates that intermediate goals are established that are appropriate to the child’s developmental profile, his or her needs, and those of the family. The pervasiveness of the disorder may require that we set multiple goals at the same time or that the individual may benefit from multiple differentiated interventions. To date, within the Guidelines 21 of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (LG21, the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders in children and adolescents) interventions based on Behavior Analysis and behavioral interventions in general are recommended as effective. Evidence-based interventions are defined as those interventions that are based on scientific evidence demonstrating their effectiveness. An intervention is defined as effective when the results and improvements obtained can be traced back to the treatment and not to the natural growth path of the child. Evidence-based interventions refer to studies that have been published in scientific journals and whose results demonstrate that the particular intervention practice is responsible for the objective improvement in the child’s living conditions. Ad oggi si parla diEarly Intensive Behavioural Intervention” (EIBI), il termine EIBI include tutti i modelli d’intervento comprensivi derivati dall’ABA, come il Denver Model, e non è limitato al modello UCLA/Lovaas. The term “evidence-based education” refers to the use of the latest scientific evidence to guide decisions about teaching, including ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis).  Studies show that the application of Behavior Analysis leads to significant improvements in intellectual skills, communication and language, adaptive behaviors in children on the autism spectrum, it is essential to involve all figures that are part of the context of life of the subject so that we can talk about an intervention not only effective but also generalized. Applied Behavior Analysis is the applied science derived from the basic science known as Behavior Analysis (Skinner, 1953), provides a mode of scientific observation of human behaviors, what determines them and the consequences they produce on the environment and the subject. It provides the implementation of processes of learning/teaching new skills, the decrease of dysfunctional behaviors in order to improve the quality of life of the individual. Applied Behavioral Analysis and autism have been a pairing for about 30 years even though ABA was not really born with autism but as a methodology for the recovery of intellectual and developmental disabilities in general.
Abaco Blog - Aba e Autismo
Abaco Blog – Aba and Autism
ABA is characterized by seven dimensions (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968):
  • Applied, that is, it takes into account socially significant behaviors for the person and pays attention to the context in which they occur.
  • Behavioral because it is based on the measurement of behaviors, on defining and evaluating behaviors according to quantifiable and objective dimensions. 
  • Analytical because it is based on the relationship between stimulus and response, on the relationship between behavior and environmental variables.
  • Technological in that each procedure is described in detail and analytically.
  • Effective is the ability that this science has to modify significant behavior, its application necessarily involves a modification of behavior.
  • Conceptual because of the theoretical principles to which it refers.
  • Generalizable in other contexts and with other people by promoting the highest level of adaptation possible.
ABA does not forget the individuality of each person as it starts by taking a “picture” of the person by defining the characteristics, preferences, skills present, emerging and absent, what is necessary to teach respecting the dignity and values of the person and protecting its social image, ensuring a process of inclusion as being with others doing things with others. Psychoeducational and individualized interventions concern the areas of development of verbal and communication skills, cognitive skills, social and personal autonomy through intervention programs that involve parents, teachers, operators and any person who is in relationship with the subject. According to the World Health Organization, health is not the absence of disease, but bio-psycho-social well-being, the full realization of one’s potential, of one’s capability (Sen, 1994).
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WE CHOSE ABA FOR OUR SON BECAUSE…

“One evening, about two weeks after we were notified of my son’s diagnosis, I took the car and drove to the beach to clear my head. As I drove, I began to think about my little one’s future. My mind conjured up all kinds of scary scenarios: mental retardation, rejection, teasing, bullying, victimization, isolation, becoming one of society’s forgotten people. So the moment I stepped onto the sand, I was living a nightmare. And as I walked on the beach it got worse and worse. Well after about half an hour of this nightmare, I suddenly winced. I stopped and stood in silence, awestruck contemplating one of the most magnificent sunsets I have ever seen.

I stood there watching for several minutes, not saying a word, unable to believe that I had missed that transformation” (If the World Crashes Down on You, Russ Harris).

The moment in which parents receive the diagnosis of autism for their child is a traumatic moment, there is the perception that “the world collapses on you”, autism is not a disease but it is a life condition that accompanies the person throughout his life, a life that can be made dignified, happy, lived in comfort with the support of a network that works together to ensure the best possible quality.

Autism means a different mental functioning, a functioning that cannot be changed. Autism means a variability of aspects, characteristics, behaviors, mental levels, ability to relate to others depending on the characteristics of the person, the cognitive impairments or not, the interventions that are implemented, the living environment, the stimuli, the values of the person.

Always have the focus on the person, their needs, expectations, values without judging them, skills, what is right and proper to teach by avoiding starting from what we believe is our right way of doing things, but instead by fixing what is right and makes sense for the person in front of us.

Receiving a diagnosis also means making choices. In the coming days we will publish a very meaningful story of a mom. Follow us and follow our blog

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IS ABA INTERVENTION POSSIBLE AT SCHOOL TO TEACH AUTONOMY?

THE TESTIMONY OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER

“Every child deserves a chance to show everyone what they are capable of, every child deserves to learn all they can learn, every child deserves effective behavioral intervention”.Mary Beth Walsh

The entrance of a student with disabilities at school involves the activation of a network that involves teachers, classmates, family and any professional figures who follow the student, in order to ensure a linearity and consistency in the educational and inclusive path. Giving opportunities to learn, to improve one’s quality of life and well-being.

The starting point for a teacher is certainly to identify the characteristics of the student, to outline a profile, to define priorities and goals, always starting from the student and what can be important for him on the basis of his skills, preferences, age, values, so that he can be increasingly capable and active in the social context in which he is.

People with difficulties usually do not learn from the environment spontaneously, so they need to be taught.

Personal autonomy is part of the student’s repertoire of skills, it is possible to teach in school through the application of Behavior Analysis.

Below is the experience of a secondary school teacher who has been working with professionals in ABA for years. She tells us how she taught a middle school boy to hold a spoon and eat independently.

She started by observing the student, defined the goal and broke it down into sub-goals in order to make the task facilitating, defined a task analysis with the sequences of behaviors of the skill to be taught, defined the type of prompt to be used and the reward to be delivered that was highly motivating for her student. Everything was reported in data sockets for monitoring the teaching put in place.

A-How many years have you been working with ABA professionals? What has changed in the way you teach?

I have been collaborating for about seven years with ABA professionals, the experience has allowed me to enrich my professionalism but above all to know intervention strategies that allow to obtain the expected results with the students. Sharing an educational path is, surely, the key to achieving not only educational success but to solicit the well-being of the person and all those who are part of their lives. Understanding how a student’s behavior works means being able to anticipate difficult situations and implement appropriate strategies; this is possible when the shared work environment becomes a “training laboratory” focused on the person with all his or her personal characteristics.

B-How did you decide to teach a child first to eat independently? Is it possible to do this within the educational institution?

I have learned that it is necessary to start from what the students can do or try to do and to consider that motivation is the trigger. Deciding to teach something functional to the life of a student, I believe, should be a natural goal; planning an intervention of this type at school is like carrying out any other technical-practical activity. Before carrying out activities on autonomy, (previously included in the IEP), I essentially share with the family the priorities regarding the autonomy to be acquired among those possible, then simply by having a dedicated environment, structured in an essential way, with the appropriate reinforcers aimed at the person, I carry out various daily exercises. 

C-How did the teaching come about?

Preparatory phase: Identification of favorite foods, both sweet and savory, organization of the environment with the most appropriate choice of cutlery and plate, highly motivating reinforcer. In agreement with the family, a light breakfast at home; the first teaching occasions started with a reinforcer that was given when the boy held the cutlery and brought it to his mouth, obviously the reinforcer/work relationship was reversed over time. (Obviously prompts, physical aids, modeling were used, which made learning praxis possible).

D-How did you monitor learning progress?

The work was monitored, with a chart noting how many times he brought the cutlery to his mouth on his own during each predefined teaching occasion (I defined a number of times during the school day in which to do the teaching).

E-What if you had the ability to use an app that allows you to take data?

Granted that faculty should have minimal training in applied behavioral analysis, I believe that the ability to have an application that facilitates data collection would definitely be a resource that would help to have a clear picture for accurate and orderly progression of work.

F-In what ways do you think technology can help with student progress?

Technology, apart from supporting students as a CAA tool, through the applications allows you to find suitable for the needs of each student to carry out activities aimed at educational learning, also for students particularly compromised also allows you to develop the oculomanual coordination with ease thanks to the reinforcement entrinseco of ‘App (lights, movement, sounds, music), and finally the playful aspect is not to be underestimated both to learn and as a gratification to the work previously done. In addition to these aspects, technology can be useful for easy collection of information and data and for constant monitoring of learning and progress, for immediate sharing with the entire team of the student.