Beyond Autism Treatment: The Application Article Review

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[. . .] Behavior is viewed by traditional psychologists as a symptom of a disorder or condition and not as a functional response that enables one to escape, avoid or mitigate exposure to this unpleasant condition. Conversely, behavior analysts describes what the child does and does not do, and what specific skills need to be developed and then establishes the process of effective treatment. This is a motor task and not a change in verbal behavior. Practitioners in the fields of psychology and psychiatry are still primarily attempting to treat behavior by changing "thoughts" of that person. This is a change in verbal behavior.

A further difference is that behavior analysts look for precision in descriptions of human behavior and instead find terms that have no single agreed-upon meaning in psychological literature. These terms are unhelpful and highly misleading. The difference can be eroded by shifting from an objective description of the behavior occurring to a subjective categorization of the behavior (complete with hypothesized cause) to create a pathology and a rationalization that flows directly from the subjective interpretations. The child can also provide insight into his or her behavior. Rather than abandoning these vague terms behavior analysts can simply define what they mean for a particular person by describing the behaviors that lead to that label for that particular person and then come up with an effective treatment (New York State Department of Health Early Intervention Program, 1999).

The traditional approach is that the solution to the problems or condition lies in getting the child to have a better understanding of the past. However if the problem and its causes are very complex, treatment would not be readily accessible and effective in solving the problem. The author rejects this approach and suggests the readers to first reduce complexity by providing objective descriptions of specific behaviors and then building more complex behaviors by establishing simple skills and expanding on those basic skills. If the problem is one of skill deficits then the solution should be one of skill development (Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 2005).

The author finally concludes that it is imperative that behavior analysts move beyond autism and apply the technology to a broader range of conditions. For this to materialize close collaboration is required with psychologists and differences between two schools of thought needs to be eliminated. Precise criteria for the use of terms to describe emotional behavior would need to be established that are both observable and measurable and have acceptable inter-observer reliability. Skill building procedures would then be developed from these descriptions. Once these critical initial actions occur ABA could be easily used for treatment of children with emotional or psychological problems.

References:

Behavior Analyst Certification Board. (2005). Behavior analyst task list, third edition.

Tallahassee, FL: author. Retrieved October 10, 2007, from http://www.bacb.com/consum_frame.html

Lovaas, O.I. & Smith, T. (1987). Intensive behavioral treatment for young autistic children. In B.B. Lahey & A.E. Kazdin (Eds.), Advances in clinical child psychology (Vol.11,pp.285-

324). New York: Plenum

New York State Department of Health Early Intervention Program (1999). Clinical Practice

Guideline: The Guideline Technical Report, Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Assessment and Intervention for Young Children. Publication #4217. Health Education Services, P.O. Box 7126, Albany, NY 12224. [END OF PREVIEW]

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Beyond Autism Treatment: The Application.  (2011, October 2).  Retrieved January 17, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/beyond-autism-treatment-application/5951874

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"Beyond Autism Treatment: The Application."  Essaytown.com.  October 2, 2011.  Accessed January 17, 2020.
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