What Everybody Ought to Know About Applied Behavioral Analysis

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What is Autism?

Applied Behavioral Analysis – Special Needs Nanny Miami – Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills. Autism is a lifelong neurological disability that affects a person’s ability to communicate, understand language, play and socially interact with others.

Autism is classified as a developmental disability because it interferes with the typical rate and patterns of childhood development. It is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause for autism and currently there is no cure.

There are diagnoses closely related to autism such as PDD-NOS (pervasive development disorder
not otherwise specified), Asperger’s syndrome, and Rett’s syndrome that are included in the category
of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their ADDM autism prevalence report in December 2018. CDC estimates that an average of 1 in 59 children in the U.S have an ASD.


Here are some of their findings:

  • The estimated percentage of children with ASD was higher in 2014 than it was in previous ADDM Network reports.
  • It is estimated that one in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, pediatric AIDS, and juvenile diabetes combined.
  • 1.5 million Americans are living with the effects of autism spectrum disorder.
  • Lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism ranges from $3.5 million to $5 million, and that the United States is facing almost $90 billion annually in costs for autism (this figure includes research, insurance costs and non-covered expenses, Medicaid waivers for autism, educational spending, housing, transportation, employment, in addition to related therapeutic services and caregiver costs).
  • There is no current explanation for the increase of ASD diagnosis (Autism Spectrum Disorder), although improved diagnosis and environmental influences are two reasons often considered.
  • Studies suggest boys are more likely than girls to develop autism and receive the diagnosis three to four times more frequently. Current estimates are that in the United States alone, one out of 70 boys is diagnosed with autism.


For more information/ resources:
Autism Speaks
University of Miami UMCARD
Autism Society

What is Applied Behavioral Analysis – ABA?

Behavior Analysis is the scientific study of behavior. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the application of the principles of learning and motivation from Behavior Analysis, and the procedures and technology derived from those principles, to the solution of problems of social significance. Many decades of research have validated treatments based on ABA (http://www.centerforautism.com).

[highlight]As the previous Executive Director of a School in South Florida that specializes in providing 1-to-1 ABA therapy to children with autism and similar disabilities, I was able to learn, understand, and at times see how ABA can help a child reach his or her fullest potential. This is where the idea of integrating trained and specialized ABA specialists with a nanny referral agency came about. It basically added the missing puzzle to our mission, which is to be part of every child’s development that we serve to the best of our capabilities.[/highlight]

Applied Behavioral Analysis – ABA methods have been used successfully with many kinds of learners of all ages, with and without disabilities, in many different settings. In the early 1960s, behavior analysts began working with young children with autism and related disorders. Since that time, a wide variety of ABA techniques have been developed for implementing useful skills in learners with autism of all ages. Those techniques are used in both structured situations (such as formal instruction in classrooms) and in more “natural” everyday situations (such as during play or mealtime at home), and in group instruction as well as 1-to-1. They are used to develop basic skills like listening and imitating, looking, as well as complex skills like conversing, reading, and taking the perspective of others.

In ABA, a socially significant behavior is targeted, such as a child learning to make request. And then an environmental alteration is introduced, such as teaching instructions and a reward for a correct response. And then the change in the targeted behavior is objectively measured.

[highlight]Today, ABA is widely recognized as a safe and effective treatment for autism. It has been endorsed by a number of federal and state agencies, including the US Surgeon General and the New York State Department of Health. Elite Nannies On Call revolutionizes the childcare placement industry by specializing in ABA specialists for families of children with special needs.[/highlight]

For more information/ resources:
Autism Speaks
The Association of Professional Behavior Analysts
The Association for Behavior Analysis International
Behavior Analyst Certification Board
American Psychological Association Archival Description of Behavioral Psychology
Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies

2 Comments. Leave new

  • I am a babysitter and i can understand that child behavior is very difficult to understand but if you are good you can easily understand child personality and needs.

    • Hi Meo,

      This is true, but each child is unique and a child on the Spectrum (ASD) has different ways of communicating, learning, engaging, than that of a “typical” child. With that said, if you may not have the education, knowledge, or background or what this diagnosis entails, than it may not be as easy as the general population may think.


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