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Autism & ABA Services

The Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program of Los Niños Services helps young children on the autistic spectrum learn to communicate, improve social skills and reduce problematic behaviors like tantrums. The effectiveness of the ABA approach has been demonstrated over more than 40 years of research.

The Los Niños Services ABA program uses a Verbal Behavior approach in combination with Discrete Trial and Natural Environment teaching. These approaches have been popularized by clinicians and researchers such as Dr. Vincent Carbone, Dr. Mark Sundberg, and Dr. James Partington (See Sundberg, M. L., & Partington, J.W. (1998). Teaching language to children with autism or other developmental disabilities.).

Through the use of ABA, skills are broken down into their smaller components and taught in a structured manner with the use of reinforcement (preferred items/activities to the child). Natural Environment Teaching (NET) is used to generalize skills taught in discrete trial teaching. NET using toys/activities in the child’s everyday environment to ensure generalization of previously taught skills. It is also a way for therapists to pair themselves as reinforcers, helping to build a relationship with the child through the use of preferred activities.  This helps to insure optimal learning.

Verbal Behavior approach targets language and communication through a behavior analytic perspective.  It breaks down language into different categories called verbal operants, each playing its role in the development of simple and complex communication skills. The 1ST verbal operant which is targeted as early as the first session are “mands” or requests. Through the use of preferred items, opportunities are created for the child to ask for what they want allowing them to have their needs and wants met and decrease frustration.  As the child acquires mands, other verbal operants are targeted (Echoics, Tacts and Intraverbals). By using assessment tools such as the ABLLS®-R, individualized programs are created based on the child’s developmental level, family needs and current IFSP. Data collection is a necessary to ensure accurate decisions are made in creating and modifying the child’s curriculum.