Applied Behavior Analysis In Autism

Superior Essays
Introduction
“The image often evoked to describe autism is that of a beautiful child in a glass shell.” (Schopler, E., Mesibov, G., 1995) For decades many parents have clung to this notion, of hoping that one day a means might be found to break the invisible barrier. Thus far, no cure has been found. Perhaps the time has come for the image to be shattered. Perhaps the time has come to concentrate, rather, on understanding the minds of the autistic. Recent psychological and physiological research has shown that autistic people are not living in rich inner worlds but instead are victims of a biological defect that makes their minds very different from those of normal individuals. Happily, however, autistic people are not beyond the reach
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Reinforcements are given for correct responses while inappropriate behaviors are corrected, ignored or redirected. The most widely used and accepted approach is Applied Behavior Analysis, which has shown to benefit young children with autism by teaching language, social, motor, and adaptive skills through intensive behavioral interventions. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an intensive, structured teaching program. Lessons to be taught are broken down into their simplest elements. These elements are taught using repeated trials where the child is presented with a stimulus ( like “ do this” or “touch object” or “look at me.”) Correct responses and behaviors are rewarded with lots of positive reinforcement. When incorrect responses occur, they are ignored and appropriate responses are prompted and rewarded. Once simple skills like table readiness, imitation, attention and others are learned in this manner, they can be combined into more complex skills, like language, imitation, play skills, social interaction and more. The basic approach is outlined in “Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism”) Maurice et al, 1996 and in the many other sources.
Dr. Erick Shopler established the Training and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicap children (TEACCH) therapy. TEACCH established the intervention method called “Structured TEACCHing.” This method requires one to know and understand the learning style of a child with autism. TEACCH therapy manages the individual’s setting through arranged and controlled teaching in an assortment of situations including home and school. It places emphasis on task completions. The following terms and principles used by the behaviorist

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