Applied Avior Analysis: Autism And Applied Behavior

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Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis
Affecting one in every 150 children born in the United States, Autism Spectrum Disorder is a vicious disease with no known cause that affects social, communication and language skills. Many trials and treatments have been and will continue to be conducted to find the best way to treat, cure and prevent Autism. One finding that has particularly been praised is Applied Behavior Analysis. Applied Behavior Analysis is four different treatments, Discrete Trial Learning, Pivotal Response Training, Verbal Behavior and Incidental Teaching that focus on natural intervention and behavioral issues of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The term Autism has been around since around 1911 when a Swiss psychiatrist, Eugen Bleuler,
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Discrete Trial Learning (DTT) breaks down behaviors into different, small parts that focus on one behavior and works through toward more difficult tasks. This method teaches certain skills by giving positive reinforcement as the child with ASD begins to learn the behaviors. Beginning DTT means focusing on a child’s individual needs such as, tantrums, peer interaction, play and communication. Throughout treatment, as skills are mastered, changes in instruction are made, newly mastered skills are reviewed to ensure they are retained, and skills are practiced more and more in less structured environment and tested among natural environments. DTT uses a form of chaining, that starts small and works up to retained behavior. Putting this in play involves pulling children out who have problems in ASD areas. For example, if the problem was tantrums on the playground, the treatment would be finding out why tantrums and meltdowns are happening and the best intervention. Beginning small, and working toward using skills against meltdowns in a natural environment for a child would prove very effective. Parents can also be included and can help keep the child on task and mastering the skills in the home environment. This form of mastery has been proven to be very affective throughout the treatments of ASD with DTT (autism …show more content…
The theory of Verbal Behavior was designed in 1957 by a behaviorist named B.F. Skinner. This therapy focusing on learning language by attaching words to their purpose. This teaches children that words and language can help obtain object, and get across information, as well as other results (autism speaks). Rather than just teaching a child a word with a meaning, it attaches why we would use the word. These classifications of language are known as verbal operants and have four different types. These types are: mand, requesting something using words, tact, making a comment to draw attention, intraverbal, using words to answer questions, and echoic, which is repeating a word of something that is important to a child. (autism community). The first taught verbal operant is mands, which teaches the child that repeating words and presenting them as a request can produce them with what they want or need. Another important fact about verbal behavior treatment is that it doesn’t completely focus on words, but rather aspects of communication. For example, a child doesn’t neccisarily have to speak in order to receive something, but rather just make a gesture that has been learned. This teaches communication and then words that go along with communication skills. Verbal Behavior Therapy uses “errorless learning” which gives children frequent prompts to help improve their communication. Regular sessions include hard and easy requests

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