Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is "A.B.A."?
Applied Behavior Analysis is a science which is within the field of Psychology. A.B.A. investigates behaviors and what precedes them, as well as how behaviors are a function of their consequences. For example, the behavior of putting money into a drink machine is frequently followed by getting a drink. When a drink machine repeatedly takes your money, your behavior of going to that machine is less likely to happen in the future. A.B.A. is used with a huge variety of populations, ranging from couples seeking help with relationships, to drug addicts in rehabilitation or businesses wishing to improve employee productivity. W.N.C. B.E.S.T. specializes in using these principles to treat children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
How Is "A.B.A." Used With Children With Autism?
If a child were not talking, ABA would work to teach the child to imitate sounds from an adult, and then work (diligently!) to reinforce the child for making sounds. These sounds are then linked together to form words (which, again, are diligently reinforced).
How Does "A.B.A." Work To Help My Child Make As Many Gains As He Can?
Intensity. Just as you would have more difficulty learning to speak a new language if you only practiced a couple of hours a week, a child with delays will have more difficulty learning in a couple of hours versus 20 to 40 hours a week. W.N.C. B.E.S.T. sets up home programs, which are run by the family and consultant, in order to achieve this high number of hours of intervention. We welcome input from teachers, speech therapists, and other professionals who seek the best outcome for your child. We train tutors that the family hires (usually college students or relatives) as well as the family members to use principles of behavior analysis to shape behaviors. Tutors come to your house to work with your child for the recommended number of hours, and the team (tutors and family) meet with the consultant regularly to update the program and receive additional training. Tutors and family are asked to take data on behaviors which are being targeted, and as soon as a child masters skills, new ones are introduced. A typical home program works on teaching behaviors in the following categories: receptive language, expressive language, social skills, fine and gross motor skills, and self-help skills.
Isn't Running A Home Program Overwhelming?
Yes. Intensive intervention is just that. Intensive! Most families report that getting started is stressful, but that once they have started they feel relieved at knowing their child is getting the only scientifically effective treatment (reviewed and published by psychologists) available. Likewise, since your family selects tutors (and occasionally fires them!) you have control with who is coming into your home and you also have supervision of the intervention with your child.
Running a home program takes a bit of organization, but if you are not so good at organizing, we are happy to help you or train a tutor to help keep materials and data organized. The parent, however, is responsible for scheduling tutors and peer play dates, but once a schedule is set, it usually does not change for a while. Please look at the program evaluation form we have and read through what is required to run an effective home program.
How Does One Fund This Type Of Intervention?
How Long Does This Treatment Take?
W.N.C. B.E.S.T. works with families for an average of two years. Our objective is to help children make as many gains as possible in a short period of time, but also to teach parents how to manage and teach new behaviors without the regular help of a consultant.
How Do I Know If This Is Right For My Child?
If I Think I Want To Do This, How Do I Get Started?
Email from the link provided on this website, and we will give you a call! Or, call us at (828)778-2378. Our business is located in Asheville, North Carolina, and we serve surrounding counties in Western North Carolina.
Where Can I Find Legal Information?
WrightsLaw is a good source to find accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.