What is Behavior Therapy? Behavior Therapy encompasses a wide range of therapeutic techniques, including ABA Therapy, to address maladaptive behaviors. “ABA” stands for Applied Behavior Analysis, which is an evidence-based treatment strategy used to decrease challenging behaviors and increase socially appropriate behaviors. Our ABA teams are led by a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with service support from experienced Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs).
ABA therapy works to increase functional communication, both verbal and non-verbal, and expand communication skills. Additionally, it can decrease challenging behaviors impeding learning or that may be harmful to the client or others. ABA is helpful in teaching new skills to replace challenging behaviors by increasing appropriate behavior and decreasing challenging behavior. An increase in learner readiness skills, social and play skills can be achieved through ABA. The intervention can also increase independence in self-help and academic skills and promote generalization of skills and behaviors.
What are some Behavior Therapy treatment activities? ABA Therapists and Analysts use interventions such as reinforcement, prompting and fading, shaping, modeling, chaining, and task analysis, which are all common ABA techniques. Additionally, therapists use play and NET to teach new skills, increase language, and promote social and play skills. Our Registered Behavior Technicians provide direct service to the child and family, including collecting data on programming and collaborating with the BCBA on modifications to programming. RBTs also work with the family, other providers, and school professionals on modifications and accommodations that best meet the child’s needs. Behavior Therapy treatment includes skills-based interventions based on needs identified in an ABA assessment, visual supports and schedules to orient the client to their environment and promote sequencing, activities promoting social skill and communication development, and emotional identification and regulation.
What are some treatment goals of Behavior Therapy? It is the goal of ABA Therapists to increase their client’s abilities to express wants and needs to others, make friends or maintain social relationships, complete age-appropriate activities of daily living (i.e. toileting, hand washing, tooth brushing, dressing, etc.) and learn and maintain new skills. BCBAs and RBTs focus on how behaviors are affected and influenced by the environment to improve, change, reverse, or rehabilitate that behavior. Our Behavior Therapy teams are dedicated to helping their clients modify behavior and achieve functional communication across a variety of skills. Data collection is integral in each individual and group therapy session and is used to monitor progress and celebrate accomplishments. Therapists communicate data, develop cohesive treatment plans, collaborate with a multi-disciplinary team, and provide caregiver training for each child to ensure the best possible results.
What perspectives do Behavior Therapists bring to the multidisciplinary teams at Eyas Landing, Blue Bird Day, and Merlin Day Academy? Our Behavior Therapists use a relationship-based approach and work collaboratively across all therapeutic disciplines to create the most individualized treatment plans in the best interest of the child. For a child to receive ABA therapy, BCBAs conduct assessments and make recommendations specific to each child’s therapeutic needs.
What education requirements are there for Behavior Therapists? Board Certified Behavior Analysts must earn a Master’s degree from an accredited program in either behavior analysis, education, or psychology. Additionally, there are required to complete supervisory hours and pass a BCBA exam. In order to become an RBT, you need a high school diploma, completion of a 40-hour training course, and completion of a competency assessment. BCBAs and RBTs are certified by a national board, they are not licensed by the state. Both BCBAs and RBTs receive ongoing training to utilize the most current and relevant ABA techniques that are shown to be effective in teaching a wide variety of skills in learners with and without disabilities.