Every ABA session is different. They are individualised for each child, for each target, for each interest, for each learning style…and so the list goes on.
But one thing that will be the same across all ABA sessions is that they will be fun!
The therapist will spend time playing with the child, and building a positive relationship with the child. Then, teaching will take place within this play. So, for an outsider, they may think that nothing much is happening, other than play. But, within the fun, skills can be taught. This may be communication based, it may be regarding social skills, or it may be teaching the child to follow very simple instructions. The idea is though, the work side of it follows the interests and the motivation of the child.
For young children, and early learners, the main focus of an ABA session is likely to be communication
This may be teaching them the foundation skills to communicate or expanding on the skills they already have. It may look like playing, but there will be subtle pauses in the play where the child can request for items and activities.
The session will be very positive
When learning new skills, the child will be shown how to do them. They will then be given all sorts of things that they like, including a lot of praise (if they like it!) for doing this new skill. The child won’t be given an option to make an error. The support provided will just reduce slightly as they become more independent.
The language used will be positive too
For example, you won’t hear language such as “don’t do that” or “don’t throw that” etc. You are more likely to her “thank you for putting that down” or “I like how you just___”
Sessions will look different each time
Sessions won’t follow a set routine. They will follow the motivation of the child. Of course, there may be set things which need to be done at set times, for example, trips to the bathroom, or meal times, but in between these times, any activities can be carried out at any time.
I hope that answers the question “what does an ABA session look like?”. If you have other questions, or would like some more clarification, please get in touch. http://earlyactionforautism.co.uk/contact/