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Can someone tell me more about ABA?

(23 Posts)
gorionine Sat 06-Apr-13 11:29:13

I just started working in a mainstream school where there are a few ASD pupils. I am very inexperienced yet and have only heard from afar about ABA (not in school) My gut instinct is that it is worth me having a deeper look into it even though I might not directly work with them (then again I might one day) I would like to do them justice IYSWIM. I do not know where to start. First of all what it is exactly? I found an online course with the Geneva association for autism but it does not give details of what Applied Behaviour Analysis is. Are there any associations in UK that could advise me? I found an American one on the web but for people who already do know what ABA is so not much use to me.

In short, what does ABA entail and would it be usefull for me if I came to work with ASD children in a mainstream school.

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 12:00:48

Newly formed society for behaviour analysis

One of the best inroductions to ABA and ASD

You sound like a wonderfully curious person. Lucky kids to have you working with them. Also lots of posts about ABA on here if you do a search.

gorionine Sat 06-Apr-13 12:24:55

Thanks Moondog I really appreciate that! Just put the book on my wish list!

lottieandmia Sat 06-Apr-13 14:58:12

gorionine - how old are the children? ABA has a kind of curriculum and where the child begins depends upon what skills they have to begin with.

We ran a programme for 7 years for my autistic dd who is now 11 - when she started she didn't have any skills at all so it began with teaching her to match and imitate. It has been the making of her - she now has very good receptive language even though she doesn't speak much. It was also incorporated in a MS school with her ABA tutors for a good proportion of that time.

lottieandmia Sat 06-Apr-13 15:00:09

I would also recommend Vince Carbone's (3 day) workshops. He is an excellent public speaker and I agree with his approaches. They are quite expensive to attend but very useful if you are wanting an introduction to ABA.

lottieandmia Sat 06-Apr-13 15:03:03

See this link

With ABA, I find it helps if you actually see it in action.

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 06-Apr-13 15:15:00

Yes good point about better to see ABA in action where possible

Nb there are 5 more letters in the Times today, pro and anti ABA

gorionine Sat 06-Apr-13 16:10:08

Lottieandmia, the children I am talking about are between 6 and 10 so I have no idea if ABA would apply to them from the videos I think it might need to be introduced earlier. You are so right, I needed to see what it looked like. Watching the videos is a real eye opener, the pace (especially in the first one) is quite astounding!
I am a TA so cannot as such introduce something totally new to the school but on a personal level it is something that I am going to dig much more into/learn more about.

gorionine Sat 06-Apr-13 16:11:48

Off to google today's Times now!

gorionine Sat 06-Apr-13 16:18:47

sad won't let me read full article as I am not a subscriber. Not sure I know anyone who read it either. Will send one of the Dcs to see if there re any copies left

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 06-Apr-13 16:22:41


I wish there were a manual somewhere for how to incorporate ABA successfully into the LSA role

I know there was an accredited course run by beyondautism charity at one point, not sure if still available

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 06-Apr-13 16:25:58

No I think it has finished. Jigsaw runs courses too

gorionine Sat 06-Apr-13 16:37:43

I saw this: what do you think?

gorionine Sat 06-Apr-13 16:38:57

Meant to ask, would you trust someone with just that course wit your child?

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 06-Apr-13 16:42:12

I literally have never heard of them. Must admit I might try first either Jigsaw or Ambitious about Autusm for ABA training, but I might be wrong

gorionine Sat 06-Apr-13 17:01:28

Sorry, could you link to Jigsaw please? I saw lots of 'Jigsaw' when googled but none who seem remotely related to autism.
I heard about the Geneva association for autism at a course about Autistic Spectrum Conditions; ABA was not even alluded to during that course.

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 06-Apr-13 17:04:29

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 17:08:58

Gorion, depends entirely on your time, funds and commitment.
I self funded an MSc in ABA (I work in this field) as it was increasing apparent to me that applying the principles would add huge value to my work as an s/lt and as the mother of a child with communication impairments.
The £££ I paid have been recouped in so many ways. Not only am I now vastly better equipped ot do my job, but my child has made progress I would never have dreamt possible a few years ago.

Online courses cannot capture the stimulation of learning side by side with others. Moreover, it will be difficult to translate that into a version that works in the British public sector, which is my personal area of interest. If you are not up to the commitment of an MSC, most of the unis that offer the MSC in ABA (I think about 5 now-Glamorga, Swansea, Bangor, Ulster, Queen's??) will let you do some of the modules as stand alones.

sickofsocalledexperts Sat 06-Apr-13 17:28:10

This might be useful also

gorionine Sat 06-Apr-13 18:19:35

The funding is less a worry than commuting or time management. I have 4 dcs and although I work part time only, the time I spend home to prepare resources or plan interventions (because I want tosmile) makes it feel very much like full time. To make matters worse, I do not drive so cannot really go too far without it impairing on my family life too much.
I do understand your very good point WRT any course/formation fitting within a British setting though. I will carry on looking into all these great website you both have linked to and see what other courses/workshops are around. I won't rush into anything just yet.
Thanks again, I have a been given a lot of great websites on the course I did but none of the ones you have linked to!

lottieandmia Sat 06-Apr-13 18:25:59

I think if the children are 6-10 they could certainly still benfit from ABA. We started with Lovaas (my daughter was very severe though) then we switched to VB when she no longer needed to do so many 'drills' and had basic skills to work with. When we started with the VB provider he completed an ABLLS tracking sheet to see where dd was at and where we needed to begin. I think it is possible to get hold of these.

Lovaas and VB are both ABA, btw but the teaching style and prompting procedures are a bit different.

moondog Sat 06-Apr-13 18:38:45

Anyone can benefit form behaviourally informed interventions.
What is suitable for a 3 year old with profound ASD isn't suitable for a young adult with mild learning disabilities but both can benefit as ABA has at its core the following:

-reinforcement that is individualised (this truly child centred)
-task breakdown
-data collection and analysis

It is quite simply evidence based data driven intervention of the sort that all the helping professions can and should use

lottieandmia Sat 06-Apr-13 18:43:52

Yes, agree with moondog. The great thing about ABA is that you can see the progress being made via data collection. And yes, a reinforcer is whatever the person finds reinforcing. If you're working with quite a passive child like my dd, this can be difficult! But everyone will be reinforced by something.

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