Autism And Its Treatment: Applied Behavior Analysis And The Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship Based (Dir) Model

2234 words - 9 pages

Child PsychologyAbstractAutism is considered a neurobiological disorder. However its exact origin is not known. There is a variety of treatment approaches available. This paper introduces some of them and describes Applied Behavior Analysis and the Developmental, Individual-Difference, Relationship-Based (DIR) Model in more detail. Up to this date we cannot say for sure which treatment is the best for a child born with autism.Autism is one of the five disorders called Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). It is considered to be of neurobiological origin and its exact cause is not known. It usually becomes apparent before age three, disrupts communication and social skills, and may also be ...view middle of the document...

" Each story is constructed of four different kinds of sentences. Descriptive sentences answer the where, who, what and why. Perspective sentences address the inner state of emotions, feelings and thoughts. Directive sentences suggest an appropriate behavior. And affirmative sentences enhance the meaning of a former statement. The story may also include partial sentences for the autistic child to fill in what he or she believes is right.Sensory IntegrationSome children with autism are over sensitive, some under sensitive and others are not able to integrate their senses. To a child, with sensory integration problems, a blanket that feels just normal to the parent may feel extremely irritating to the child. During Sensory Integration Therapy the therapist works with the child on desensitization and reorganization of his sensory information.Facilitated CommunicationThe idea of Facilitated Communication (FC) was developed in the 1970's in Australia. It involves a person, the facilitator, who helps the patient to communicate with the help of a computer by supporting the patient's arm. FC is highly controversial, it has not been researched and critics claim that the facilitator's ideas are actually communicated.Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)Applied behavior Analysis is a behavioral theoretic approach. It is based on the principle that rewarded behavior is more likely to be repeated and than unrewarded behavior.The child has intensive sessions of about 40 hour a week of discrete trials. A discrete trial, which may also be called "ABC model", consists of Antecedent, Behavior and Consequence. The Antecedent is a request to the child to perform a certain behavior. More complex behaviors are broken down into segments.The Behavior might be the correct response, a wrong response or no response at all. To learn the correct response the child might be prompted by the teacher. The therapist may perform the right response first or simply guide the student until he can accomplish the skill more and more by himself.The response is followed by the Consequence, which is a reaction by the therapist ranging from a strong positive reaction to a negative "no". The positive reinforcement might be the child's favorite cookie in the beginning but should lead to a more social reward like a smile or hug later on.Discrete Trial Therapy (DTT) has been criticized for different reasons and is therefore more and more often combined with other ABA methods.If the session follows a strict routine the therapy may not suit the individual. Therefore the therapist should determine the initial skills the child has and select, based on which behaviors needs to be reinforced, learned or avoided, a goal oriented treatment plan. The child's behavior as well as the therapist's behavior should be monitored throughout and assessed to ensure improvement by the child and to give the behavior analyst detailed feed back for further therapeutic goals.To have more enjoyable learning child initiated...

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