What is ABA?
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is a specialized technology of instruction and behaviour-change procedure. It involves applying behavioural principles for instructional and behaviour management purposes and evaluating whether your interventions resulted in desired outcomes. ABA utilizes scientific principles of behaviour to build socially useful repertoires and reduces problematic behaviours (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 1989). Behavioural treatment focuses on the improvement of objectively defined and observable behaviours, which are taught in small systematic steps.
Our Approach Makes Us Unique
Successful life skills help to build confidence and increases independence and self-awareness. It allows for an individual to manage their behaviours and emotions.
Applied Behavioural Analysis
Individuals with autism process information in a concrete and literal way. They are often visual learners and rely on rules and routines to help them deal with unpredictability in their world. Learning, therefore, occurs best when information is presented in an organized and predictable manner and taught using repetition paired with concrete visual materials. This learning style is sharply different from that of typically developing peers and is key in understanding why individuals with autism have difficulty in understanding and learning in our fluid, fast-paced and multi-sensory world. Individuals with autism have limited consideration of environmental cues, engage in selective attention, have difficulty remaining attentive, present with obvious motivational differences, engage in problematic behavioural excesses and deficits, display varied responses to reinforcement and consequences, and have difficulty transferring information to novel settings, to novel people and across the course of their day.
Research in child development supports the fact that peer relations are a core function in children’s’ development. The research in autism further assessed that in autism, it is the reciprocity of social exchange, which creates such pervasive deficits. This deficit is seen as a lack of both social responses and initiations with other people. The research in autism continues to suggest that it is from these primary social impairments that secondary impairments in communication and self-stimulatory behaviours are likely developed. The research further supports that deficits in social initiations are a good predictor for successful intervention outcomes. It is this concept in mind that makes our programs and services unique.
Kindergarten Room Environment
Our open-concept classroom structure and group learning strategies support key aspects of social skills development such as efforts to stop another child’s actions; actions to obtain permission from another child to participate in an activity; acquiring objects; directing the attention of another child; eliciting affection; gaining specific information or clarifying information, and general initiations to engage in social contact or eliciting from a peer any other necessary response. Our classroom structure also allows for natural environment teaching (NET), which is an integral part of our students’ learning. Additionally, this structure allows for our students’ to work on acquiring good learner repertoires in the area of life skills, where they can find new ways of thinking and problem solving.
Discover Our Treatment Programs
Focused ABA Treatment
Treatment intervention involves 10 to 25 hours per week of direct treatment plus direct and indirect supervision and caregiver training.
Comprehensive ABA Treatment
Treatment involves an intensity level of 30 to 40 hours of 1:1 direct treatment to the client per week and does not include caregiver training, supervision, and other needed services. Comprehensive treatment hours of 30 to 40 hours per week is based on research findings regarding the intensity required to produce good outcomes.
Communication and Language Training
Our centre provides students with communication training to help encourage the development and strengthening of early language skills. Our team of therapists are trained in the use of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and augmented communication systems such as Proloquo and DynaVox. All families receive continued support using the ImPACT method in order to support both verbal and non-verbal students with their development of social communication skills.
Group Learning & Programs
Here at Moving Forward Autism Services and Tools, our enriched learning is offered via an open concept classroom environment, similar to traditional classroom environments. Our behavioural programs focus heavily on quality responding and performance discrepancies. They are designed to incorporate one to one therapy with natural environment teaching. Together these build on acquiring good learner repertoires, whereby good learners can respond readily to various social situations. To further support good learner repertoires, our students have the daily opportunity to interact with peers, join in group learning and generalize their learned skills. In addition, students participate in group activities featuring daily living skills and art and group programs featuring cooking, adaptive Yoga and camps.
Parent Education and Training & Curriculum Assessments
At MFAST, one of our main focuses is parent education. We understand that active family participation is a core element in any behavioural change program. Empowering parents with the knowledge and skills through training can yield substantial behaviour and developmental changes, thereby having a positive impact on the family as a whole. Our team of trained therapists provide families with parent education using the Triple P and Impact approach. Triple P- Positive Parenting Program, is an evidence-based approach with over 35 years of research. Project ImPACT-Improving Parents as Communication Teachers, is an evidence-based, parent-training program designed to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities improve their social communication skills.
Visual Supports -ABA Technologies Workshop
Environmental supports help organize physical space in ways that enhance the learner’s ability to predict events and activities, anticipate change in their routines, and allow for coping strategies in our dynamic world. These coping strategies or behavioural technologies, in turn, allow students to respond independently to daily activities and promotes language development. We offer a workshop that allows for parents to understand and create these individualized visual supports specific to their parent education goals.
Coordinated Service Planning
In addition to our individualized student services, we pride ourselves on further supporting our families by providing coordinated service planning. Our aim is to provide information, support and guidance to ensure that the community services involved with your child are working as a team, towards your family’s goal and that at all times you are informed and part of this advocacy process. Our community partners include schools, childcares, other treatment centres, the Ontario Autism Program (OAP), Respiteservices.com, Special Services at Home (SSAH) Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD) and The Henson Trust.