Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior. By understanding how behavior works in real situations, the goal of ABA is to use positive reinforcement to increase behaviors that are helpful and decrease behaviors that are harmful or affect learning.

Team PAAC understands that ABA programs are not “one size fits all.”

Each client is paired with a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and a Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT) to customize a program for your child’s unique struggles in order to meet their treatment goals.

In addition to collecting data in each therapy session in order to monitor the child’s progress toward goals on an ongoing basis, your paired BCBA may give additional training to family members and caregivers so they can support learning and skill practice throughout the day.  This is to ensure the individual is taught to communicate better, cope more easily, and ultimately build friendships in and out of the classroom.

PAAC Approach

In order to accurately identify key issues, new PAAC members are assessed: 

ALL CLIENTS – A Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is a process by which the lead clinician identifies some target behaviors along with the family and determines what is the function of those behaviors. By doing so we are able to come up with a treatment plan and evidence-based interventions for staff and parents.  To see more about other assessments we use, check out our ABA FAQ or feel free to give us a call to speak with a BCBA.

YOUNGER CLIENTS – A Verbal Behavior Program helps us identify holes in language and abilities.  There are many components to language that we assess, including but not limited to requests (mands), labeling (tacts), listener responding (following directions), intraverbals (answering questions/filling in the blanks), echoics (repeating what is said), etc.

The combination of these protocols, in conjunction with a team of qualified and trained specialists, ensures each ABA program is tailored to your child’s individual skills, needs, interests, preferences and family situation.

Contact Us About Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy

What is ABA?

ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis. Most commonly  associated with people with ASD, it has been found to be very effective in decreasing problem behaviors, increasing skills and encouraging communication in appropriate manners. ABA is also used by companies to better work flow in offices and factories settings and in schools to increase positive behaviors. ABA is finding its way into a variety of new environments including law enforcement and higher education facilities. 

First practiced in 1970, Applied Behavior Analysis has transitioned to a focus on reinforcement, which has proven to have a more lasting impact on behavior. ABA is a science where one can modify the environment to find the best way to teach a skill.

ABA can only be provided with a masters-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) supervising the team.  In Pennsylvania, providers are required to have a state license as well. PAAC utilizes Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT) to provide daily therapy under the BCBA’s direction.  

How do I know if my child would benefit from applied behavioral analysis?

If your child is displaying behaviors that are impacting their learning, struggles with socializing with peers, or have deficits in communication shown through inability to communicate functionally, your child may benefit from our ABA services.

What age range does PAAC treat?

PAAC can treat kids from ages 2-21.

What does an evaluation consist of and how long will it take?
Step 1:

After our Billing Specialists reviews your insurance, and clears services, you will meet with our Clinical Director or your Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) who will complete the intake assessment with you.

This includes:

  • Barriers Assessment
  • BLAF Assessment
  • Vineland (which could be remote)
  • FBA questionnaire

These assessments will allow us to determine which behaviors are of the utmost concern, so we can prioritize which behaviors to start with. The assessments let us know which skills to build up throughout their sessions. This can take 1-2 hours in person or virtually depending on the amount of behaviors.

Step 2:

After the initial assessments, the BCBA will observe your child.  This is an informal

observation in their natural environment.  This may take anywhere from 3-6 hours and should be done across 3 locations and 2-3 days.

Step 3:

Once the assessment is completed, the BCBA will write a treatment plan based on your concerns and their observations. This treatment plan will be sent to the insurance company to get approval for hours before starting sessions.

What does a typical ABA session look like?

A typical ABA session is going to depend on your child and the amount of hours they are allotted. Regardless of the amount of time that your child is allotted at PAAC, we will focus on teaching them skills that will help increase their independence.  We utilize curriculums such as VB-MAPP which breaks down language into its functions so that students can learn small aspects of communication.  This is called intensive teaching time (ITT). 

We also work on every-day tasks that might prove challenging for your child. We call this natural environment training (NET).  VB-MAPP concepts will also be utilized using NET, so that the skills can generalize in different settings and with different people.  Therapists will switch between ITT, NET, and group activities with other clients in the center.

During all three segments of your session the therapists will work on decreasing any problem behaviors that may arise.  Children will also have opportunities to work on any feeding concerns during lunch, snack, or dinner times, depending on the times the child is at the center. 

Where can my child receive PAAC’s applied behavioral analysis therapy?

PAAC currently has 2 locations, Brodheadsville and Jim Thorpe, and when it is warranted in schools (with permission from the school district), out in communities such as stores, parks, or doctor appointments, or in your home.

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