P.A.L. provides ABA services to children with autism from ages 0-21
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific field in which research based interventions or tactics derived from behavior analytic principles and theories are put in place to address socially significant behaviors. Experimentation is used to determine the variables responsible for any improvement or change observed in the behavior(s) of interest (Cooper, Heron, & Howard, 2007). The principles in which ABA tactics are derived are reinforcement, punishment, and extinction. The tactics used in ABA therapy are derived from these aforementioned principles and can be applied to improve behaviors of all living organisms.
ABA therapy is an empirically validated clinical service approach in which evidence-based interventions are put in place to address and improve socially significant behaviors. ABA is a science so all interventions/tactics applied in ABA therapy are supported by research. ABA therapy provides treatment across developmental domains such as, communication, adaptive behavior, social-emotional, physical, and academics. ABA therapy has been shown to provide significant growth at high rates depending on the learner’s entry age, entry cognitive level, language spoken at home, and diagnosis severity (Tiura, Kim, Detmers, & Baldi, 2017). In ABA therapy, your child initially receives behavior assessments conducted by BCBAs to determine your child’s skill set and level of performance. The results of the assessment allow clinicians to determine appropriate goals for your child. The goals are then used to develop and finalize your child’s treatment plan and this plan is what the clinicians (e.g., RBTs, BCBA’s) use to teach the learners. Throughout ABA therapy we highly emphasize generalization and maintenance of skills. During ABA therapy your child works one-to-one with a Behavior Technician and their services are supervised by a BCBA on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The overall goal of ABA therapy is to improve your child’s way of living and provide them with the skills necessary in order to be successful contributors to their society. Researchers have found that comprehensive ABA therapy results in skill acquisition and IQ gains which is improved intelligence test scores (Dixon, Paliliunas, Barron, Schmick, & Stanley, 2021).
PAL offers supervision to aspiring BCBA’s and BCaBAs by our experienced BCBA/BCBA-D clinical staff. According to the BACB (Behavior Analysis Certification Board), all individuals in pursuit of becoming a certified Behavior Analyst must meet certain requirements such as being supervised by a BCBA for 6.5% of their monthly accumulated fieldwork hours. The PAL Supervisors have a history of providing high quality supervision to trainees. We provide supervision in the form of lectures pertaining to the content found in the 5th edition Task list. We teach our trainees about verbal behavior protocols (Greer & Ross, 2008) and teaching techniques and strategies based on Skinner’s verbal behavior. We also provide clinical guidance/support pertaining to the supervisee’s ABA related work. PAL Supervisors follow the BACBs guidelines for supervision including maintaining active credentials and maintaining the ongoing supervision CEU requirement. We consistently demonstrate technical, professional, and ethical behavior for our trainees in order to enhance and maintain the behavior-analytic, professional, and ethical skill-set of our trainees which in turn helps them deliver high-quality behavior analytic services to their clients. Contact us if you are interested in receiving BCBA/BCaBA supervision!
When PAL is approached to conduct an ABA assessment, the goal is to ensure that we obtain the maximum amount of information possible before evaluating and writing our treatment plan for the targeted individual. This includes conducting standardized ABA assessments, such as the ABLLS-R, PEAK, AFLS, or VB-MAPP. It also includes direct observations in which we see how the client interacts with his/her environment, whether it’s at home or in a novel setting. Other aspects of the assessment include a thorough caregiver interview, parent questionnaires, and documentation review of evaluations of any relevant diagnostic or psychological evaluation documents.
After our initial assessment is complete, PAL clinicians synthesize the information gathered to write a comprehensive treatment plan that includes a complete client history as well as our recommendations for treatment moving forward. This means determining appropriate goals that target domains within the assessment in which there are deficits, such as pre-learning skills, communication, social skills, play-and-leisure skills, activities of daily living, and self-management skills, to name a few.
In addition to treatment plan goals, PAL clinicians will also create a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) in order to address any maladaptive behaviors of concern. The BIP includes problem behaviors targeted for reduction, preventative strategies, consequence strategies, reinforcement plan, as well as appropriate replacement behaviors.
PAL provides parent training sessions for families focusing on the basic principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA). In addition to training on the basics of ABA, parent training goals are chosen together with each family to prioritize skills important to families. Examples of goals targeted during parent training sessions may include, increasing making requests at home, transitioning in the community without maladaptive behaviors, and/or functional meal skills such as eating using utensils during mealtimes. Parent training sessions are also utilized as an opportunity for a child to practice generalization and maintenance of skills learned during therapy sessions. Currently, PAL provides both in-person and remote parent training sessions.