The Value of Early Treatment
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) impairs the ability of a child to learn and develop skills on their own; it occurs more slowly than in typical peers. Research shows the potential for progress for children on the autism spectrum is very good with early intervention. As much as possible, individuals with ASD should be engaged in activities that help to build functional and appropriate skills.
About Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
SARRC's clinical model utilizes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with a particular focus on naturalistic interventions in inclusive environments, including but not limited to the home, school, on the job or in the community. Each of SARRC's programs are grounded by evidence-based practices to increase self-sufficiency ultimately working to produce meaningful outcomes for our clients and their families. Read more about the benefits of ABA below:
- Applied behavior analysis, or ABA— an evidence-based, best practice treatment— is the design, implementation, and evaluation of instructional and environmental modifications to produce socially significant improvements in human behavior. It includes the empirical identification of functional relations between behavior and environmental factors, known as functional assessment and analysis.
- Applied behavior analysis interventions are based on scientific research and the direct observation and measurement of behavior and the environment. Behavior analysts utilize contextual factors, motivating operations, antecedent stimuli, positive reinforcement, and other consequences to help people develop new behaviors, increase or decrease existing behaviors, and emit behaviors under specific environmental conditions.
- ABA interventions for people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) involve directly and objectively measuring potential target behaviors and environmental events that influence them; constructing detailed, individualized behavior analytic treatment plans; using reinforcement and other scientifically validated procedures to build functional skills and reduce behaviors that jeopardize health, safety and independent functioning; managing treatment environments to maximize client
progress; implementing treatment protocols repeatedly, frequently, and adjusting treatment protocols based on data. They may be focused (addressing a limited number of target behaviors) or comprehensive (addressing multiple targets in multiple developmental domains). ABA assessments and interventions are supported by scientific evidence as medically necessary for people with ASD, and are not experimental.
Applied Behavior Analysis Interventions
Interventions supported by the most scientific evidence are based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and include the following:
- Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
- Incidental Teaching
- Learning Experiences: An Alternative Program for Preschoolers & Parents (LEAP)
- Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS)
- Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT)
- Verbal Behavior (VB)
With effective interventions, family involvement, and community-based support, individuals with ASD and their families can live meaningful and productive lives with varying levels of assistance.
RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF HOURS PER WEEK
In 2001, the National Research Council Report recommended a minimum of 25 hours per week. In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended 20 hours or more of active engagement in evidence-based interventions. These are the minimum number of hours based on research for young children. No similar data on the minimum number of hours for adults is available. At SARRC, number of treatment hours is determined on an individual basis to meet the needs of each person.