24 Jul 2018

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In our last post we talked about the steps before an ABA program can be developed for children. Your program manager needs to undertake various assessment steps in order to build up a good picture of your child. From there, the next step is to identify target behaviours. In other words, the behaviours to start changing.

What makes a behaviour socially significant?

Behaviours or skills in therapy must be socially significant for the child and their family (or classroom). There is no point teaching something that doesn’t improve the child’s overall quality of life. Instead we’re looking for behaviours that increase the child’s well-being, capacity to engage with others, have their needs met (in a positive way) and support their overall learning. Socially significant behaviours also have to be appropriate for the child’s development.

These behaviours usually become clearer in the discussions between the program manager and the parent. It should become possible to identify the top 2-3 socially significant behaviours to work on. These then become the focus in the therapy intervention.

How to know if a behaviour is socially significant?

Some questions that the program manager will consider along the way, include:

Is the behaviour harming the learner and/or people around the learner? An example of this would be the child who repeatedly runs away off from their parent and there is a risk of harm.

Is the behaviour occurring in a high frequency? For example the child who is regularly temper tantrumming.

Is the behaviour relevant to future skill development or inhibiting learning? For example, a child who is unable to pay attention in class.

Will the intervention reduce negative attention from others (to increase a person’s access to his/her environment)? For example, a child who constantly hums in class and annoys both teacher and peers.

Once we identify the socially significant behaviours, we can begin to planning for the intervention. This will be the subject of the next week’s post.

As always you are very welcome to contact the team to discuss your child’s behaviour and how we may be able to help on 9274 7062

Jenny Lin

ABACAS Program Manager.