“But I tried ABA.”

Occasionally we meet someone who shares they tried ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) but it “didn’t work” with their child. It’s an interesting remark and a bit like saying “I tried gravity but it really wasn’t my thing.” ABA is applying the science of human behavior to learning. Sure, there are bad examples and applying these principles the wrong way can lead to undesired results. But let’s not toss out the successes that can be found with the right team developing and implementing instructional strategies.

I get it. Professionals are largely to blame for a long list of experimental strategies. And many families have chased these solutions only to find little or no change in their child’s development. It’s a bit like all the fad diets that come and go. We all have friends that recommend some new way to lose weight. Yet the simple science of cardio, muscle building, healthy diets are proven ways to maintain the proper weight.

So the next time you hear someone talking about ABA, remember, it’s the science that supports learning. ABA isn’t flashcards, it’s not a time out room, it isn’t a trip to Dairy Queen. These are simply activities, good or bad that may be used within the context of a comprehensive plan based on the principles of ABA.

Similarly, if a child has a bad experience in the classroom, we don’t dispose of education. Instead, we look at how we can reconfigure the child’s learning experience.

The right professionals can help an individual and the family develop strategies that incorporate these rules and techniques to benefit a child. If your experience wasn’t successful, don’t discard the science, consider changing the strategy. It may require a different look at the origination of certain behaviors. It may start with a different assumption of skill building.

Want to read more? Here is an article by Carl Sundberg that may be of interest:  http://www.difflearn.com/product/carl-sundberg/expert-articles?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Guest+Article%3A+Looking+at+Autism%3A+ABA+and+a+Behavior+Analysis+of+Sensory+Needs&utm_campaign=Expert+Article%3A+%22Looking+at+Autism%3A+ABA+and+a+Behavior+Analysis+of+Sensory+Needs%22+by+Carl+Sundberg