ABA is the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviours to a meaningful degree, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement of behaviour. ABA is a natural rather than a social science. Behaviour analysts focus on the observable relationship of behaviour to the environment, including antecedents and consequences. Applied Behavioural Analysis is an empirically driven means of improving the quality of life for autistic children and their families. Read more at Autism Speaks.
Parents of children with autism, are increasingly aware of the range of therapies available for children with special educational needs. ABA is one such therapy that is gaining ground in the UK. As interest and awareness of ABA grows, more and more parents are seeking ABA provision for their children.
What is ABA?
ABA is a formal methodology, that uses empirical, observable evidence to help improve the lives of children with autism and other developmental needs. You can learn more from the Kennedy Kreiger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine report on ABA and neurodevelopment disorders. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, the Kennedy Krieger Institute is an internationally recognised institution dedicated to improving the lives of children and adolescents with paediatric developmental disabilities and disorders of the brain. Their review of scientific support for ABA is a detailed and well-supported summary of the techniques and principles behind ABA.
ABA and SEN Tribunals
The key to winning an ABA programme at tribunal is data. SEN tribunals are not interested in ‘ABA theory’, it is essential to submit an ABA report in your tribunal bundle, ideally from a BCBA who is highly qualified. It is often the case that a Local Education Authority (LEA) will argue that ABA is ineffective or unproven. An ABA report, from a highly qualified BCBA, can help to disprove this assertion, as it is written by an informed expert. The key is for the report to show the data that has been collected and to clearly demonstrate the progress that has been made using ABA. It is crucial that you can provide evidence that ABA works for your child. In so doing, you can make a strong case for an ABA programme versus the Teaching Assistant (TA) model typically proposed by LEAs.
ABA Experts for SEN Tribunal
The right group of experts can make all the difference to winning an ABA programme. ABA is very difficult to win at SEN tribunals. The highest degree of success is in cases where the child is non-verbal, in nappies, self-harming, or at risk of harming others. The more complex the child, the greater the likelihood of success. Likewise, where the child’s school makes a statement to the effect that they cannot meet the child’s special educational needs, or have excluded the child, the greater the chances of success.
Ultimately you will need good solid experts including, but not limited to, an education psychologist and a strong BCBA. It may also be helpful to have a report from a speech and language therapist and an occupational therapist if the child is struggling with speech and/or sensory issues. The key to SEN tribunal success is evidence. Highly qualified experts with experience of SEN tribunal can make all the difference in your case.
We are SEN tribunal experts. We can guide you through this process. We can provide assistance in identifying the right experts and collecting the right data to help secure your child’s ABA programme. Contact us to learn how we can help with your case.