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Resources & Events

What is Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapy?
  • ABA therapy is a science that uses behavioral principles to increase a child’s learning ability, social skills, self-help skills, and independence, and decrease problematic, interfering, and non-functional (stereotypy/self-stimulatory) behaviors.

  • ABA is a data-driven science.  This means that the therapists take data on observable behaviors, make a treatment plan to address the behaviors, implement the treatment plan, and then take data on the behavior to see if there is a difference.

  • Our clinic uses the principles of reinforcement to increase desirable behaviors.  This means that after a behavior occurs (that we want to increase), the child will be provided with a reward (reinforcement) so that it will be more likely that the desirable behavior will occur again in the future.

    • Example:  The child has speaking ability, but tends to yell and scream for items that he wants.  We want the child to say “water” to obtain water.  When they child says water, the water is immediately presented to the child, along with praise and attention.  In contrast to making the child wait for the water, or providing water when the child yells and screams.

  • Along with reinforcement, ABN uses extinction to eliminate or decrease behaviors that are occurring because they have been reinforced in the past.  This means that a child will no longer be given a reward (reinforcement) following inappropriate or unsafe behavior.

  • Example:  In the past, the child would yell and scream when he wanted water and he would then be given water; however, he has the ability to speak and say “water.”  Using extinction, the child is no longer given water when he yells and screams.  (This behavior is no longer reinforced/rewarded – it is placed on extinction). However, as noted in the example above, he could still have water when he asks appropriately (Asking for water is now being reinforced).

What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder that affects brain development.  It is a spectrum disorder, meaning that there are different degrees of severity.  The main sypmptoms of ASD include:

  • Social Challenge

  • Communication Difficulties

  • Repetetive Behaviors

To learn more about the sypmtoms of ASD, please visit the Autism Speaks website.

ASD can be reliaby diagnosed after the age of 18 months.  If you are concerned that your young toddler has ASD, please click the M-CHAT-R link to take an on-line screening quiz.

Check back for ABN classes and community events in the Milwaukee area that support the needs of those affected by autism!

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