Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc. (ABC) is a human services agency that is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and learning disorders. ABC's commitment in the delivery of services is to act with compassion, work from a team approach, and provide what is in the self-interest of every individual and family we serve. We believe we can best serve this mission by operating within the theoretical practices of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) derived from the philosophy of 'Behaviorism.'
What this mission statement means in practice is that, for every individual receiving ABC services, intervention will be implemented within the following general parameters:
- A functional assessment will be performed on all presenting problems, followed by a functional analysis to determine the contextual contingencies, discriminative stimuli, setting events and consequences that effect the behaviors targeted for change.
- Treatment procedures will be designed to systematically build in socially significant behaviors, decrease problematic behaviors, and generalize pivotal behaviors to maintain appropriate behavior change.
Although, Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc. services children and adults with developmental disabilities, ABC specializes in Early Intensive Behavior Intervention (EIBT) for children with Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The majority of the children ABC serves are under 10 years of age, and receive ABA treatment in a school environment or in the family home.
All ABA programs begin with a comprehensive functional assessment (as described above), including an extensive evaluation of the child's language, play, and social repertoires. The VB-MAPP (Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program, Sundberg, 2008) or ABLLS (Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills, Partington & Sundberg, 1998) tool is used to identify core language deficits that prevent the child from communicating and listening effectively, engaging in basic play, and socializing with peers and adults. For children 0 to 5 years of age, The Carolina Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers or Preschoolers is also used to determine where each child functions developmentally in comparison to same age peers. Skill deficits identified from these assessment tools are then probed within ABC's generalization levels, referred to as REAL (Recreating Environments to Accelerate Learning; Terzich, 1996), to determine the level of generalization training necessary to maintain the behaviors in the child's daily repertoires (home, school, community, etc.)
Intervention programs are designed to build the repertoires that are necessary to teach the child to interact with others in a purposeful and meaningful way. Thus, the language repertoire first taught in each child's program is critical communication (Frost & Bondy, 1997) which teaches the child socially appropriate ways to request and initiate his/her wants and needs (mands). All lessons that follow are built upon this foundation of language. When behavior problems arise (excesses), a descriptive and functional analysis (functional assessment) are performed on the behaviors that interfere with the child's learning or jeopardize the safety of the child and/or others. Based on the outcomes of the functional assessment, proactive procedures are developed. Behavior reducing procedures contain preventative strategies; treatment procedures that systematically reduce or eliminate behavior excesses (when needed); and more important, functionally equivalent alternative responses to replace the problem behavior.
Our goal for each person is a more effective, independent and improved quality of life. To effect this end, we are committed to providing our professional staff with the highest level of training and supervision consistent with the cutting edge technology of our field.