Along with providing ABA services for the learner in the home, it can also be beneficial to have ABA services for the learner in the school. That is why ABA Works provides ABA services in the preschool and school in LA County.
Through the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), public schools are required by law to “provide education services that accommodate the needs of students with disabilities to ensure they receive the same level of education as their peers.” According to the Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide, “One of the core practical concepts of IDEA is the implementation of an individualized Education Program (IEP) for each student.
This is a highly personalized approach that requires behavior analysts to create a learning and behavior management strategy tailored to the learner. With an IEP developed for the learner, the Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide informed that “it creates a positive learning environment for the student and their entire classroom. These plans help students with autism access the support services they need, work on specific goals to minimize disruptions and achieve post-graduation success. They are legally mandated, so every school should be prepared to develop them.” If ABA services are added in the learner’s IEP, it assists in providing support to the learner’s academic and socialization skills.
In this blog post, I am going to touch on how ABA services in the school supports these two aspects.
- Academic skills
ABA services can help the learner to concentrate on academic skills such as, completing homework, not talking during tests, listening to the lectures, problem solving, completing tasks, working together, sharing, turn taking, put the hand up to request a turn, and participating in group activities.
Behavior Technicians can provide one-on-one attention to the learner and help teach the learner these socially significant replacement behaviors.
With this one-on-one attention, Behavior Technicians can assist the learner’s teachers as well. According to Hahs and Miller, “teachers often face the challenge of attempting to address students’ problematic behavior before they are able to address academics. Given this notion, and that most teachers aren’t equipped with sufficient or appropriate training to address said challenges, the utility of ABA within the classroom becomes even more robust.”
I have discussed with fellow professionals in the ABA field, and they have shared that ABA assists in the classroom by providing the learner with the necessary support they need in the school.
By utilizing ABA strategies, undesired behaviors are reduced to a level that does not interfere with the student’s learning. Learners who have implemented behavioral services in their IEP can also have other necessary services that will promote the well-being of the learner. A colleague of mine shared that, “while we are only there as Behavior Technicians, there is collaboration between Occupational therapists, Physical therapists, Teachers, and us to help the learner, where we all work together for a uniform purpose.” Having the extra support is beneficial for the learner and it is through that extra support, my colleague informed, “that allows the learner to increase their behavioral, academic, and social skills.”
- Socialization skills
ABA services can assist with socialization skills, and to work towards mainstream and general education classrooms.
According to the Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide, “the primary purpose of mainstreaming is to include students with disabilities within the traditional classrooms while giving them the same opportunities as other students to access instruction, gain knowledge, grow as an individual, and to participate in the academic and socializing environments that a school has to offer.”
Focusing on the learner’s social skills is beneficial to assist the learner in establishing positive social interactions, increasing positive communication skills, in the transition into the general education classrooms, and to generalize these skills in a different setting. Behavior Technicians go into the classrooms with the learners to assist with social interactions with other students, such as initiating, engaging, and maintaining conversations and cooperative play with peers.