Supporting inclusive education for neurodiversity through the science of applied behavior analysis
Neurodiversity describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in different ways. It simply suggests that there is no “right” way to think, learn and behave; and these differences do not mean deficits. Therefore, embrace individuality with how human it is to be unique! But today, the world has restricted the meaning of the word “neurodivers”. He began depicting children who process the world differently – particularly with labels of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as well as other neurological or developmental conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia.
Autism spectrum disorder is associated with differences in social communication, interaction, learning pedagogies, and behavioral needs and challenges, as well as a wide range of strengths and abilities. For example, the general notion is that people with autism cannot communicate their needs or feelings, struggle with harmful and harmful behaviors, depend on support, or impact their own safety and well-being. However, there are case studies in which people with autism have effective verbal communication skills, have normal or above average IQs, and are able to live independently and have beautiful relationships.
Their difficulties stem from the barriers of education systems and those imposed by social norms and constructions – which cause social exclusion and inequality. It is also observed that people with autism are more likely to experience challenging behaviors developed due to their different sensory abilities and needs. A significant contribution to these high rates of behavior is also due to society’s failure to understand, accept, accommodate and train children to communicate these needs. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a science of human behavior that helps develop strategies to support children with neurodiversity. It suggests therapeutic strategies based on principles of learning human behavior that help us understand how our actions can impact real-life situations. The technique has unequivocal scientific evidence and effective results.
Therefore, it becomes imperative that people who need and want behavioral support or interventions have access to educational services and tools that strengthen their communication, social, academic and daily living skills. Such services help to maximize their quality of life and developmental potential and to replace challenging behaviors. It is only surprising that despite being the most credible form of positive behavior research systems, there are as yet no specialized university courses or teaching mechanisms available to teachers and teachers. ABA science educators.
As with any other health condition, ABA comes with its own set of myths. My experience with distorted beliefs was personal, when my own teenage daughter asked me why I practiced it when it was “not a good thing.” I share with you below ABA and its application to support children with neurodiverse needs.
- Myth – ABA therapy is only for children with autism
ABA-based strategies are used by all of us to learn any new skill. For example, learning athletics, improving job performance, getting organized, interacting in the classroom, developing social skills. They help prevent maladaptive behaviors that lead to obesity, chronic diseases, addictions and human behaviors that impact the environment, managing fears and anxieties, and productivity.
- Myth – ABA makes children emotionless
Instead, current and creatively used ABA strategies promote analytical thinking, language generation, and social-emotional growth. The provision of behavior analysis services must be performed by trained and compassionate professionals. Service delivery may be questionable, but science remains unwavering in helping learning.
- Myth – ABA is meant to control children
Today’s ABA practices focus on therapies that are natural, develop an intrinsic love for learning, and are based on the interests and abilities of the child. They have functional goals to build communication, flexibility, and resilience for kids to be their happiest versions. Autonomy and self-management are the end goal of all behavioral studies programs.
- Myth – ABA is theoretical and can only be learned through tabletop exercises
ABA-based strategies can be used by any age group to shape life-enriching behaviors in any setting, from home routines to classrooms , playgrounds or workplaces. Repetitive exercises are not science. It is an amalgamation of several strategies, which therefore requires optimization on a case-by-case basis.
- Myth – ABA is data intensive
ABA strategies are guided and reviewed by objective information and visual analysis. Simple and minimal Data collection facilitates the qualitative aspects of observations, analysis and interpretation, and regulates strategies – to ensure that our efforts work for our children. The intervention is always centered on the child and not on the data.
There are testimonials that explain that ABA is an effective pedagogy.
“There were days when it seemed like he wasn’t listening. Some days he just ran away. You loved him through it all and understood and guided him through his difficult days. You listened to me and my concerns. You have changed my child’s life. ABA strategies made the DIFFERENCE »
“ABA has worked wonders on our child and shown us the light at the end of the tunnel. With the help of ABA strategies, our child can join the dots and understand and interact and learn happily. It is indeed therapy for our souls.
Evidence-based child support saves valuable time, money and energy. Scientific approaches guide us to create joyful learning opportunities and empower families. Like all sciences, ABA is progressive. It is constantly evolving, and it is the improved performance that makes it an art.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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