Archive for 2011

Social Skills and Autism

Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism: How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck! 

One of the most recommended therapies for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is social skills therapy. After all, deficits in social interaction define the autism spectrum – meaning, all children with autism/Asperger’s/PDD have impairments in this area. But, is it possible to effectively teach social skills and, more importantly, can that teaching translate into meaningful social relationships for children with ASD? We think so, but there are some things parents can do to ensure that their children are getting the most benefit from social skills treatment.  Read full post »

Pivotal Response Training

PRT. Yet Another Acronym. What is Pivotal Response Training and How Does it Differ from Other Behavioral Interventions?

If you have been following our blog recently you know that we are in full swing with our series on autism treatments. We featured two posts that reviewed Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy so it only makes sense that we now move on to covering Pivotal Response Training (PRT). PRT is yet another type of ABA therapy. Remember, we learned that ABA therapy is not a synonym for discrete trial training, which is often how people use the term. ABA therapy is the science of altering human behavior through learning principles. And PRT uses those very same principles, but in a different way. So, your next question is logically…then what is PRT? Read full post »

CBT and ASD- What Does it Spell for Me?

Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) was developed in the 1960’s by Dr. Aaron Beck for the treatment of depression. However, since then, CBT has been proven effective in the treatment of a wide variety of psychiatric conditions in which emotion and/or behavior dysregulation is a core symptom (e.g., anxiety, disruptive behavior disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, substance use/abuse). CBT has proven effective for a wide variety of age groups (i.e., children, teens, adults, and the elderly). In children, it is helpful in treating the disorders mentioned above, as well as non-compliance, aggression, self-harm, social isolation, risk-taking behaviors, and inactivity. Read full post »

Disruptive Behavior and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Disruptive Behavior and Autism Spectrum Disorder 

Individuals diagnosed with autism often engage in disruptive behavior. Forms of disruptive behavior that can occur in individuals with autism include, self-injurious behavior (SIB, e.g., hand biting, head banging), aggression, and property destruction, among others.

Behavioral Treatment for Disruptive Behavior in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder 

Programs utilizing the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) that focus on increasing skills in children with autism (e.g., academic skills, social skills, self-care skills) have become quite common. In addition to increasing adaptive skills, ABA can be used to decrease disruptive behavior. There is a large body of research that has shown ABA can be effective at assessing and treating disruptive behavior in individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. It should be noted that ABA is a science rather than a specific treatment and it can be used to analyze a broad range of behaviors in individuals with and without autism. Read full post »

What is ABA again?

It seems that everyone is using applied behavioral analysis (ABA) in working with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), when in fact, we are using it all the time with each other! When we say hi to our colleagues at work and they respond in a positive way, we are all more likely to greet them again the next day. The principle of positive reinforcement is at work in this example.

When ABA is used while working with children with ASD, it is sometimes confused with a specific type of program, such as discrete trial training (DTT). It is important to understand that ABA is a framework for the practice of a science and not a specific program. That is, ABA is a set of principles that guide how we all change our behaviors based on events that happen in our environment. These principles often impact learning. Read full post »