Many families receiving a diagnosis of autism for their child find themselves faced with a plethora of new vocabulary related to finding treatment: behavior analyst, BCBA, ABA Therapy, BCaBA, applied behavior analysis. If you’re feeling like all of these terms and acronyms are enough to make your head spin, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to decode this new language.
What is behavior analysis?
Behavior analysis is the scientific study of behavior and environment interactions. It can be used to explain or predict the behavior of humans or animals.
What is applied behavior analysis?
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the application of principles of learning to everyday problems. It can be used in a variety of settings to improve behavior including job performance, adaptive skills, language development, Read full post »
This is the second of a 2-part series for families dealing with pica or elopement. In this post, we’ll cover the following information on elopement:
- Presentation and prevalence
- What makes elopement so challenging to treat
- Common, evidence-based treatments to consider
- Tips for parents to begin a treatment plan
Presentation and prevalence
Elopement occurs when a child runs or wanders from a safe, supervised environment. A 2012 study found (via parent survey) that 49% of the study children with autism eloped after the age of 4 and of these, 53% were away from supervision long enough to be considered missing. In contrast, parents reported that 13% of the study’s unaffected siblings had eloped after the age of 4. Statistical analyses showed that the children with autism who were more severely impacted by autism (lower intellectual and communication abilities) were more likely to elope than those who were more mildly affected by autism.
What makes elopement so challenging to treat?
Like pica, there is less research on elopement than other problem behaviors exhibited by those with autism. Often, elopement is lumped into a category of “challenging behavior” and not studied independently. Read full post »
Children with autism display a variety of unique behaviors. Some behaviors charm us. One upstanding character I met last week proudly reported that he’d memorized all of the U.S. presidents plus special facts about each one. Then he proceeded to tell me 3 facts about 3 presidents. Other behaviors are not so charming and can be disruptive and dangerous. Two particularly daunting behaviors families affected by autism contend with are pica and elopement. Pica refers to the ingestion of non-food items. Elopement occurs when a child runs or wanders away from safe, supervised environments. Why do these behaviors occur and why are they so difficult to treat?
This is the first of a 2-part series for families tackling these difficult behaviors. Starting with pica, we’ll cover the Read full post »
Medicaid and ABA
It has been a year now since Medicaid and a handful of private insurers began covering Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for their clients in Washington State. As expected with an endeavor of this size, there have been challenges with implementation. We have been tracking some of the more common issues that have arisen and offer this blog to help provide guidance for those seeking ABA services for their child.
While parents haven’t reported much difficulty in getting the order needed for insurers, getting approval from some insurers and then accessing services have been problematic for many. Read full post »
“He did it deliberately – consciously – purposefully – willfully.”
Most parents have heard their child’s behavior described as being deliberate and may themselves wonder whether behavior is done “on purpose” or not. Often it is a disruptive behavior, such as hitting or throwing. We asked Seattle Children’s psychologist, Emily Rastall for her thoughts on the topic of intentional behavior and what tips she has to offer to parents and others seeking to better understand our kids. Here’s what she had to say:
Lynn: Why do you think there is a tendency to describe behavior as being deliberately disobedient or willfully disruptive? Read full post »