ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis)

At Kings Mill School we have 2 ABA classes for pupils with autism.  Lower ABA is for key stage 1 and 2 pupils and Upper ABA is for key stage 3 and 4 pupils.

ABA is short for Applied Behaviour Analysis.  It is the use of the body of science about 'behaviour' and is used to work out why problem behaviours keep happening so that we can reduce them and teach new skills.

A variety of assessments are used including:-

  • VB-MAPP (Verbal Behaviour Milestone Assessment and Placement Programme - Sundberg
  • Essentials for Living - Patrick McGreevy
  • ABLLS (The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills) - Partington

Teaching is highly individualised and includes one to one teaching sessions and group activities.  Each pupil has their own programme with targets selected from the above assessments.  We aim to choose targets that are socially significant and functional for the individual.

The school is associated with the Carbone Clinic in New York and one of their Outreach Behaviour Analysts, Carole Roxburgh (BCBA), visits the school for a few days every term to advise staff how to teach individual pupils.

We also have our own Assistant Behaviour Analyst, Jodie Fielder, who devises ABA programmes for pupils and delivers training.

Often pupils with autism find it difficult to cooperate.  We use 'effective teaching procedures' (Carbone Clinic) which enable the pupils to engage with and enjoy their teaching sessions.

We use a Verbal Behaviour approach, teaching pupils to communicate using 'Skinner's analysis of verbal behaviour.  For younger pupils there is a heavy emphasis on teaching in play situations.  As pupils grow older the emphasis moves more to life skills.

For many of the pupils it is important to help them become more tolerant, so that they and their families can enjoy a 'full life'.  For example some pupils find it very difficult if they have to wait, or they are asked to move from one activity to another.  We use a number of problem behaviour reduction procedures, which are very effective.

We are keen to work with parents and offer workshop sessions for family members (and external agencies) to help them understand the principals and procedures we use.

Typically a pupil's week will involve daily one to one intensive teaching sessions and also group sessions as appropriate to the individual for example; swimming; story activities; music; riding; sensory sessions; physical play/sport; developing skills in the community (visiting a café or the park); using a local gym; art and crafts; baking; preparing lunch.