When it comes time to recording the behavioral progress of an individual on the autism spectrum, a therapist will often incorporate Applied Behavior Analysis into their study. In fact, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is one of, if not the most commonly used method of autism therapy. Overall, its purpose is to instil traditional behaviorism to those on the spectrum using mand and tact learning. In other words, ABA is used to teach those with autism how to appropriately respond, request, and behave. Therapists will work toward collecting the results of each individual’s analysis and use them to establish certain successes; for example, an echoic repertoire – something that is a rarity among autistic individual’s yet, at the same time, an important skill to grasp in order to vocalize and communicate appropriately.
In a recent ABA case study, therapists conducted an analysis using a simple AB design while working alongside a 3-year old boy. The study was divided into two procedures: first, a preference assessment, where a number of preferred items were selected and later presented to the learner in order to obtain an echoic response based on familiarity. In the second, a therapist held up a sequence of photos (that were of the same items gathered in the first stage of analysis). The difference? The second procedure included a visible reward in addition to each photo – an incentive or reinforcement for the learner to succeed. Both procedures were conducted three times per session for up to 10 minutes at a time or until the learner lost motivation.
Read the completed case study here