APPLIED BEHAVIOUR ANALYSIS (ABA)

Learning about ABA can be overwhelming.  Not all parents are made aware of the options that are available to them.  Additionally, the field of Autism is only now becoming regulated by the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO).  Pivotal Minds wants to help make this journey a more knowledgeable one for you.  We have created a chart below that outlines an example of evidence-based practices available under the umbrella of ABA.  Think of it this way - ABA is the "theory", the umbrella.  How you deliver this "theory" as a treatment is up to you, the parent.  For the purposes of this chart, we have included the three most evidence-based practices for you to compare. 

What is Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)?

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What is ABA?

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is a theory based on the science of learning and behaviour.  Behaviour analysis helps us to understand how the principles of learning occur, how behaviour works and how it is affected by the environment.  ABA interventions are based on scientific evidence-based research with measurable outcomes.  ABA programs involve learning proper communication and language skills, social skills, self-care, play, motor skills, learning and academic skills.     

How does ABA therapy work?

ABA treatment can be customized to meet the needs of each learner.  ABA can be used at any age to teach essential and purposeful social interactions improving the overall quality of life for not only the learner, but for the family as well.  Instruction plans break down skills into small chunks and steps.  The therapist teaches these steps one-by-one so that the learner can go from simple tasks to more complex tasks.  For instance, imitating single sounds to actually carrying a conversation).  A BCBA and therapist will measure progress.

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Mom and Son
Is ABA covered by insurance?  Is it funded?

Kindly check with your insurance provider to see if this treatment option is covered.  A funded model, you will be required to register with the Ontario Autism Program once your child is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.   A Behaviour Certified Board Analyst (BCBA) will determine the amount of hours required for your child upon an assessment that will determine their skills.  Caregivers are very much a part of the process in determining goals for their child.  

Why choose Pivotal Minds for ABA?

Pivotal ​Minds has always been a strong proponent to supporting the involvement of caregivers.  All programs are designed with the caregivers involvement.  Research shows that when we expose our children to skills in different environments, the skills generalize better resulting in improved outcomes.  Therefore, having caregivers participate and continue activities at home improves many skills.  We value the parents at our centre and truly enjoy working with them!

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Examples of ABA

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Applied Behaviour Analysis

ABA

DTT

Clinician-led Therapy

  • DISCRETE TRIAL TRAINING

  • Often referred to as "ABA" in Ontario, however this is inaccurate.  This treatment option is actually called "Discrete Trial Training".

  • Costs are upward of $80,000 per year

  • Evidence shows that 20 hours/week are required to receive full benefits 

  • Funded by the Ontario Autism Program

  • Therapy is Clinician + Child (No caregivers involved)

PRT

Child-led Therapy

  • PIVOTAL RESPONSE TREATMENT

  • Targets "pivotal" areas of a child's development (can target more than one thing at a time)

  • Parents are central to the treatment

  • Cost effective option (most often, less hours required)

  • Funded by the Ontario Autism Program

  • Generalizes very well

ESDM

Child-led Therapy

  • EARLY START DENVER MODEL

  • Effective between 12-48 months (4 years)

  • Some similarities to PRT

  • Therapy is with child and therapist

  • Funded by the Ontario Autism Program

  • Emphasis on social skills as the child approaches the age of 4

What are my options?

Often when a family receives a diagnosis of ASD for their child they are directed to seek out Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) treatment.  Families aren't always informed of the options available to them or even have a grasp of what Applied Behaviour Analysis is.  

ABA is the theory behind modifying behaviours.  This theory can then be executed in different modalities of treatment. The choice of treatment type is up to the parents, and families have options.

At Pivotal Minds we believe that a well informed family can make a well informed choice, regardless of whether they are our clients or not.  Our goal is to teach families how to make a decision based on what is right for their family.

Things to consider before seeking treatment:

  • Consider treatment as soon as possible.  Research has proven that early intervention means better outcomes for your child.

  • Ensure your treatment of choice has evidence-based research behind it.  An evidence-based approach is derived from informed objective evidence (not opinion) and should be published through proper research channels such as universities and colleges.

  • Do not mix treatment options.  Although you want to do the utmost for your child, mixing therapies can lead to conflicting expectations placed on our child, which could be more confusing.

  • A reputable treatment centre should have a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) to supervise therapists who implement behaviour based interventions.  This is a specialized supervisor that has had significant training in the field of Autism.  In Ontario, the field of Autism Services is in the process of being regulated.  It is imperative that you have the appropriate supports in place, such as the BCBA(s).

What treatment looks like

Consult
1

Initial Consultation

A meeting with the Clinical Supervisor (BCBA) with parent/child.  The Clinical Supervisor will obtain history and observe your child.

Consult
2

Assessment

This assessment differs from a Diagnostic Assessment.  This will determine therapeutic goals based on the strengths and needs of your child.  This assessment is administered by a trained Instructor Therapist.

Consult
3

Plan

The BCBA creates an Individualized Service Plan for your child and the program in which the Instructor Therapists will follow.

Consult
4

Implementation

Therapy commences with the parents, child and Instructor Therapist.