Applied Behavior Analysis is a framework for evidence-based approaches and interventions that can make meaningful changes in the lives of individuals by increasing socially significant behaviors (Fryling, 2011). Applied Behavior Analysis is most known as strategies that are beneficial to those with disabilities. However, Sheeply & Brown (2018) explained that applied behavioral analysis has always played a major role in education and many academic curriculums follow a behavioral theory. All aspects of learning are based on the principles of behavior and many academic curriculums utilize concepts that fall under the Applied Behavioral Analysis umbrella (Cooper et al., 2020).
Students who are not able to show mastery in academics despite using the standard teaching method-- need explicit instruction to make progress. This includes teaching methodologies such as Direct Instruction, Precision teaching, Generative Learning, Functional Communication, Discrete trials and Natural Environment Teaching.
Our approach is effective at identifying and working towards building up:
* deficits in basic academic skills, such as reading, writing, and mathematics
* learning skills deficits, such as goal setting, listening, noticing, reasoning, thinking, studying, comprehension, and organizing
*performance skills deficits; such as skills in performing tasks in a timely, accurate and organized manner, and decreasing minimally disruptive behaviors
Our programing is systematic and very individualized. Data plays an important role in this application process. Data at Upward Trend Academy does not mean giving a lot of assessments in hopes the child learns. We utilize a single subject design approach to determine the effectiveness of our intervention.
From the American Academy of Pediatrics:
The guidelines state that children who receive early intensive behavioral treatment have been shown to make substantial, sustained gains in IQ, language, academic performance, and adaptive behavior, as well as some measures of social behavior, and their outcomes have been significantly better than those of children in control groups. There is a growing body of evidence that supports the efficacy of certain interventions in ameliorating symptoms and enhancing functioning, but much remains to be learned.
Inclusion is important and can be very effective when done correctly. However, having a child sit in a general education classroom for exposure is generally not helpful. We have seen first hand how students develop self-esteem issues, defense mechanisms, and more by staying in a classroom where they are performing severely below grade level.
“We firmly believe that it does students with learning disabilities little good to be included and socialized in general education classrooms for 12 years if the result is that those students leave high school reading at a second or third grade level and with series self esteem issues” -Herr & Bateman (2013).
Phillip Shultz is known as a famous American poet confirms this theory. He discusses his struggles with Dyslexia and reading disabilities in his book, My Dyslexia. He states, “My ignorance of my Dyslexia only intensified my sense of isolation and hopelessness. Ignorance is perhaps the most painful aspect of a learning disability. There is also research-based evidence demonstrating teacher’s attitudes in general education classrooms towards students with learning and behavioral differences are overall negative and these students are generally treated differently.
While we do strive to focus on building social interactions with typical peers and encourage families to stay involved in extracurricular activities, failure to learn as others do is a major catastrophe in a child’s life and once that needs to be intervened on as soon as possible, especially when targeting language and reading skills (Dolch, 1939).