Tracking Child’s Progress With Pediatric ABA

Every child is different, meaning that applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy will look a bit different for every child, both in terms of progress and sessions. Applied behavior analysis examines behavior and how behavior is affected by environment, and throughout ABA therapy, the therapist will work with the child to replace problematic behaviors with more positive behaviors. ABA therapy can focus on building many pivotal developmental skills, from language and communication to social and play skills. ABA therapy can also be highly effective with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who experience delays in their developmental skills. As ABA therapy is evidence-based (data-driven), tracking child’s progress is an integral piece of therapy.

As an example, we will examine data tracking methods used in the Early Start Denver Model, or ESDM. This is an early intervention method used in children with autism who are between one and two years of age. Typically, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), is responsible for creating an individualized treatment plan based on the needs of the child. While the BCBA and registered behavior technicians (RBTs) implement the plan, they have daily data sheets that outline the learning objectives of the child, as well as the learning steps to help track session-by-session occurrences. The data sheets are used in the intervention session to conduct interval recordings of child performance and to cue the professionals for the skills and steps to be taught to the child. The number of columns reflects the number of coding periods planned for a given session. Since ESDM therapy requires extensive ongoing interaction with the child, therapists record data about every 15 minutes during a session. This process should only take a couple of minutes to complete. It is important that progress tracking occurs in a natural point in the intervention (and while the child has a toy or activity with which they are occupied).

The data allows for an overview of how the child is progressing since it tracks the acquisition step of each objective and the maintenance step the child has already mastered. Objectives are created based on the ESDM curriculum checklist and parent input to target the individual’s learning profile.  Along with data collection, the therapists at Chicago ABA Therapy send overviews of how the session went to the parents via email every session. Progress is the goal when implementing the individualized plans and based on the child’s needs, are modified when necessary.

At Chicago ABA Therapy, we utilize the Early Start Denver Model. The only ESDM provider in Illinois trains our ABA team to implement the best therapy possible, utilizing a naturalistic approach that is sensitive to normal developmental sequence and encourages deep parental involvement. The therapists also focus on interpersonal exchange and positive affect, shared engagement with joint activities, and teaching of language and communication inside a positive, effect-based relationship.

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Tracking Childs Progress