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Terms Used in ABA

Terms Used in ABA

If you are new to the ABA world, you’re going to hear a lot of initials and terms used in ABA therapy. There is ABA, RBT, BCBA, BCaBA, and so much more. So, what are all of these terms used in ABA? Some of these are roles and some are terms used in ABA therapy that describe a method of therapy.  Keep reading to learn more about the different terms used in ABA!


Roles in ABA Therapy

In ABA Therapy, there are a variety of people and therapy roles. Each person plays a huge role in our ABA team!

BCBA: A Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is a master’s level or higher graduate level individual who has received training to provide behavior analysis.  A BCBA is the individual who supervises our  ABA therapy clients and helps to create behavior intervention plans and behavior treatment plans for them based on the initial evaluation. A BCBA will make changes to a client’s treatment plan to ensure that the client can reach long-term and short-term goals as well as helping the client learn to be independent in daily living skills. The BCBA will provide training for the child’s therapists, and also parents, on how to implement the treatment plan appropriately and correctly.

BCaBA: A BCaBA is a Board-Certified assistant Behavior Analyst. It is an undergraduate-level certification in behavior analysis. A BCaBA provides behavior-analytic services under the supervision of a BCBA. Their day to day looks very similar to a BCBAs!

RBT: RBT stands for Registered Behavior Technician. This is a credential that confirms the therapist has successfully passed their RBT exam and met the education and experience requirements to complete the exam. PediaPlex ABA staff members are required to get their RBT. RBTs work directly with the client and implement the plan of care that the BCBA has written. An RBT is supervised by a BCBA or a BCaBA throughout their day.

Terms in ABA Therapy Treatment

During your child’s ABA journey there will be several terms used. It’s important to us that you are familiar with these terms so that you can fully understand everything about your child’s plan of care. During our parent trainings we will often use them terms and encourage you to work on these things at home!

ABA Therapy: First things first, Applied Behavior Analysis. ABA is therapy for children on the autism spectrum that works on improving specific behaviors like social skills, communication, and reading as well as adaptive learning skills like fine motor dexterity, daily living skills, and more.

Building Rapport: This is basically when we work on building a positive relationship with our client. Building rapport is used when a client first starts working with their therapist so that they can learn to trust them.

Terms in ABA Therapy Treatment

Chaining: Chaining is a method used in ABA therapy where we divide a large task into smaller tasks. For example, if we are teaching the child how to tie their shoes, we would break that into several steps. First, we would work on just putting the shoes on, and then work on holding the laces in each hand, and then work on crossing the laces, and so on. We would work on each step until the child can do it independently and then we would move on to the next step.

Daily Living Skills: These are skills that we work on to help develop long-term independent skills. This includes things like washing our hands, fixing our own lunch, cleaning up after ourselves, and other things that we do on a day-to-day basis.

Differential Reinforcement: This is a behavioral management strategy that is used to increase appropriate targeted behaviors while decreasing inappropriate behaviors across settings and individuals. An example of this would be encouraging/praising the child when they are walking next to their teacher in the hallway.

Functional Communication Training: This is a method we use to increase a client’s ability to mand, or request, things they want or need. This can be done either vocally or through an augmentative and alternative communication device (AAC). This is a skill that is required for many of our clients to be able to request items from adults and peers. We work on intrapersonal conversation through conversations using FCT.

Mand: Mentioned above, mand comes from the word’s “command” and “demand”. This is when a child is requesting a desired item.

PECS: This is a form of communication for non-verbal children with the use of picture cards. It stands for picture exchange communication systems. It allows the child to request and communicate their needs.

Shaping: One of the strategies we use in ABA therapy is shaping. This is when we start with a skill they already have and then continue to build onto it. For example, if the goal is for the child to sit down at a table for 5 minutes, and currently they can do it for 30 seconds, we would start with delivering preferred items/activities to them for every 30 seconds that they remain seated.  As they successfully sit for 30 seconds at a time, we would slowly increase the time until they are able to do it successfully for the 5 consecutive minutes.

Sociodramatic Play Skills: AKA Pretend Play, this is an important skill for all kiddos to learn. Many children on the autism spectrum don’t have the ability to engage in pretend play, so we work with our clients to appropriately play with toys. We teach the kids creative ways to use toys in ways other than what they are designed for, work on imaginary play by themselves as well as with their peers.

These are just some of many terms that might be used during your child’s time here at PediaPlex. One of our goals is to make sure you as a parent are comfortable with these terms and your child’s plan of care. We incorporate parent training into your child’s therapy so that we can effectively work with you on all these things. Parent training is an important part of your child’s ABA therapy because it provides strategies that you can work on at home as well.

ABA Therapy at PediaPlex

PediaPlex in Dallas/Fort Worth offers ABA therapy for children on the autism spectrum. PediaPlex combines speech, feeding, and occupational therapy so that clients can receive all of their therapy services in one location. Our collaborative approach to pediatric therapy helps children receive the best possible care. With locations in FriscoFort Worth, and Southlake, your child can start receiving the care they need.

For more information about PediaPlex, please visit our website today!

-The PediaPlex Family

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