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AWARE Ink Newsletter

AWARE adds focus to its Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

What is new with AWARE ABA?

AWARE’s mission is to help people live independent lives, and we pride ourselves on proactively evolving to meet the needs of our communities. We believe there are many ways to accomplish this, and every person deserves an individualized approach that meets their needs. AWARE offers a wide variety of services to both youth and adults across Montana to fulfill our mission. While Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is not a new service to be offered, it is now a dedicated service line at AWARE. We are pleased to introduce our new ABA Service Director Diane Black (pictured).

Diane started with AWARE six years ago. She first served as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and for the past three and a half years has been the BCBA service director. With the new service line dedicated and retitled to ABA services, she will oversee a team of three BCBAs and eight Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT)s. BCBAs and RBTs are certified through the Behavior Analysis Certification Board. AWARE offers ABA services to many cities across Montana and in collaboration with other AWARE services.

What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

ABA is a scientific approach that systematically applies the principles of behavior to meet the individualized goals of each person we serve. ABA only works to improve socially significant behavior. Socially significant behavior is behavior that is important to the person served and is necessary for the person to reach their goals. ABA is data driven and focuses on “why” behavior is occurring or not occurring and whether that behavior is working to reach each individual’s goals. ABA is proven to help individuals with the most challenging behavior learn the skills they need to succeed. AWARE helps children, families, and adults reach their goals, including building positive, meaningful relationships and skills to manage challenges and develop independence.

When using ABA, behavior change is evaluated continually to ensure the correct intervention is used and the individual is making progress. ABA interventions focus on teaching new or replacement skills to give each person ways to meet their needs and goals. ABA teaches the people we serve a variety of skills to meet everyday needs, such as communication, coping, self-help, social, and activities of daily living. Interventions used follow the same approach. They are systematic, consistent, and generalizable to all settings. ABA staff use reinforcement specific to the preferences of the individual to support learning new skills. An individual’s motivation is also considered in setting goals and the application of reinforcement. AWARE ABA staff understand that behavior is communication and work to listen to all the needs and preferences of the person served.

AWARE offers ABA services to children and adults. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and/or severe emotional disturbances show significant progress with ABA. AWARE delivers services in the home, community, school, or residential locations. Parents, guardians, and other providers or stakeholders are involved in the planning, goal setting, and implementation of services through a treatment plan.

To initiate ABA services, a parent, guardian, or provider should contact the ABA service director or BCBA within the community services are needed. An eligibility checklist will be reviewed to determine eligibility. If a person is eligible for ABA, a visit with the parent/guardian and person to be served is arranged. Please contact Diane Black, M.ED., BCBA - ABA Service Director for more information.

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