All assessments, lesson development and continued programming are created within the theoretical framework of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Additionally, the ABA teaching methods used are guided by what is developmentally expected (e.g., Carolina Curriculum) in regards to what behaviors are taught while maximizing learning in the natural environment to enhance the teaching of pivotal play repertoires and functional communication. Concurrently, discrimination skills that prevent the child from acquiring or generalizing what was taught in the natural learning situation(s) are targeted and acquisitioned in a more structured teaching situation using discrete trials, chaining procedures, incidental learning, and a variety of teaching techniques supported by the ABA research (JABA, JEAB, Analysis of Verbal Behavior).
Moreover, learning is set up to represent what is more age typical, therefore providing more opportunities to respond to those stimuli commonly found in the real world of an infant-toddler. Thus, increasing the child’s generalization ability and capturing as many social interactions as possible such as initiating, greeting, looking at others when name is called or spoken to and reciprocating attempts to play or verbally interact.
To enhance the generalization aspect of our program, ABC also integrates a parent participation component which is crucial to the success of the child. This parent participation training program is based on the book Steps to Independence by Drs. Bruce Baker and Alan Brightman. During this 8-week course the parents are introduced to basic behavior principles, how to teach skills to their child, as well as behavior intervention/reducing behavior excesses. Additionally, parents learn the importance of consistency, reinforcement, and making the reinforcement contingent on the child completing the desired behavior. This course is important to the program because it allows the parent to be an active participant in their child’s program, as well as teaching them techniques that they can utilize in their home in order to increase independence, generalize skills, and maintain skills.