Pediatric Assessments Used in Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied behavior analysis therapy (ABA therapy) is a widely used therapeutic method for children on the autism spectrum and children who experience behavioral issues. ABA therapy focuses on behavior, learning, and how behaviors are impacted by shifts in environment. ABA is widely used for children who have autism or behavioral issues, because evidence-based scientific studies have proven (and continue to prove) that it actually works. Throughout the process of providing ABA, therapists can also collect empirical data to show the progress of children.

In order to track the progress of ABA therapy, BCBA (and other qualified behavior analysis professionals) will conduct assessments throughout the treatment process. These assessments allow the therapists to monitor whether ABA strategies are improving the targeted skills, such as cognition, communication, or social skills.

Because every child has unique abilities and needs in ABA therapy, therapists will vary the assessments used for each child, meaning not all of these assessments will be appropriate for every child. These assessments will help guidance ABA therapy, but they can also be adapted.

Some of the commonly used assessments and treatment plans include:

ABC (Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence) Analysis: This assessment, which may also be called the Structured ABC, collects information about behavioral issues and the function of the behaviors.

ABLLS (Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills): This tool can be used for providing an assessment, creating a curriculum, or tracking the (language and learning) skill levels of a child.

BIP (Behavior Intervention Plan): This assessment is used if the child is exhibiting problematic behaviors that will be targeted in the ABA therapy treatment plan.

Brigance Assessment: This tool can be used to gauge the initial developmental level of the child at the onset of ABA therapy (in comparison to the normal benchmarks).

FBA (Functional Behavioral Assessment): This tool is used for children exhibiting a problematic behavior. FBA helps to identify the function of the behavior, as well as how to resolve the behavior.

HELP (Hawaii Early Learning Profile): HELP can be used as an assessment tool throughout ABA therapy (an ongoing tool) for children and their families.

MAS (Motivation Assessment Scale): This tool is formatted as a questionnaire to help understand the function and occurrence of a specific behavior, which is targeted in ABA therapy.

RAISD (Reinforcer Assessment for Individuals with Severe Disabilities): This assessment is formatted as an interview for the parents or teachers to understand the reinforcement used with the child.

SKILLS assessment: This assessment measures the developmental skills of the child in order to create the ABA therapy treatment plan.

TPRA (Teacher Performance Rate and Accuracy Scale): This assessment involves directly observing the methods used by the teacher and how the student is learning during this instruction.

VB-MAPP (Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program): This assessment is frequently used in ABA therapy with children who are on the autism spectrum. VB-MAPP can also be used for other children who experience delays in their language development.

Are you interested in ABA services for your child? Contact us to learn more about the range of services we provide for children who are on the autism spectrum at Chicago ABA Therapy, including applied behavior analysis therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology.

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"Chicago ABA Therapy is a boon for special needs kids and parents. They take a play-based, personalized approach and meet the kids where they are. They also go above and beyond - our ABA therapist took time to make sure we as parents understood every aspect of our child's experience, understood how to read his progress reports and generally made us feel a part of his therapy. My child loved all his therapists. Highly recommend the team!"

"We were so happy with our experience with Chicago ABA. We began working with them when our son was almost 4, a few months after his autism diagnosis. It was such an amazing team to work with - everyone was professional, responsive, flexible, and worked so hard for our son to meet his goals, which he did beautifully. We worked together for almost 2 years before he left for kindergarten, and in that time period he met almost all of his goals. We went through several bumps in the road with behavioral difficulties, and the Chicago ABA team did an amazing job helping us problem solve, try new strategies and think of ways to translate those strategies at home. We couldn't recommend them more highly - anyone who works with Chicago ABA will be lucky to have the experience!"