In this blog post, we’ll recommend 8 books to help improve ABA therapy skills and techniques. Whether you’re a therapist, parent, or caregiver, these books will be a valuable resource.
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The Basics of ABA Therapy
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy is a scientific approach to understanding behavior and how it can be changed. ABA therapy focuses on the principles of learning and motivation, and uses these principles to create positive changes in behavior.
ABA therapy is based on the idea that all behavior has meaning and purpose. Every behavior serves a specific function, or “reinforcer.” A reinforcer can be something that satisfies a basic need (like food or water), or something that provides pleasure (like a toy or a hug).
The goal of ABA therapy is to help children with autism learn new skills and reduce problem behaviors by teaching them in ways that are natural, meaningful, and motivating. ABA therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for autism, and is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
There are many different techniques and approaches that fall under the umbrella of ABA therapy. Some of the most common techniques include:
-Discrete trial training (DTT): This is a structured approach in which tasks are broken down into small, manageable steps. Each step is then practiced until the child masters it. Once the child has mastered all the steps, they are put together so that the child can complete the task from start to finish. DTT is often used to teach new skills, like how to dress oneself or use the toilet.
-Pivotal response training (PRT): PRT is a naturalistic approach that focuses on “pivotal” areas of development, such as communication and social skills. PRT involves using reinforcers to increase desired behaviors, and teaching children how to transfer new skills to different situations.
-Functional behavior assessment (FBA): An FBA is an assessment tool used to identify the purpose or “function” of problem behaviors. Once the function of a behavior is understood, an appropriate treatment plan can be put in place to address it.
-Behavior intervention plan (BIP): A BIP is a comprehensive plan that outlines specific goals for treatment, as well as what strategies will be used to reach those goals. BIPs are individualized to each child’s unique needs and may be revised as goals are met or problem behaviors change over time.
8 Books to Improve ABA Therapy Skills & Techniques
At any stage of your career, learning new therapy techniques can only make you a more effective clinician. And what could be more convenient (and cost effective) than learning from a book? Here are 8 of our favorites for improving ABA therapy skills and techniques.
The Art of Autism: Visualizing Hope by Jill Mullin and Jason M. Jones
An uplifting coffee table book that is part autism art history and part call to autistic people everywhere to be proud of their talents and to keep creating.
Visual Strategies for Improving Communication by Linda Hodgdon
This practical guide helps therapists quickly identify the right visual supports for each individual client on the autism spectrum, taking into consideration their abilities, interests, and needs.
The Complete Life’s Work of an Autistic Solipsist by Stuart Duncan
A work of “Auti-fictional” memoir, this book offers a rare and fascinating glimpse into the autistic mind. It’s also laugh-out-loud funny in places!
Making Sense of Autism by James Coplan, MD
A must-read for any clinician new to working with autistic people, this book provides an empathetic and clinically sound overview of everything from diagnosis to treatment approaches.
Empowering People With Autism by David Pitonyak
Drawing on his own experience as an autistic person, Pitonyak offers readers 96 “small essays” on a variety of topics related to living well with autism. These bite-sized bits of wisdom are easy to digest and will leave you feeling inspired.
A Work in Progress: Behavior Management Strategies and A Curriculum for Intensive Behavioral Treatment of Autism by Ron Leaf and John McEachin
This classic book is consider by many to be the bible of applied behavior analysis (ABA), offering a comprehensive overview of the philosophy and methodology behind the therapy. If you’re looking to really understand ABA, this is the place to start.
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert Sapolsky
While not specifically about autism or ABA therapy, this brand new book from one of our favorite science writers offers deep insight into the complex interactions between biology, environment, and behavior. If you want to understand why we do what we do, this is essential reading.
ABA Therapy in the Classroom
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is a technique that is used to help children with autism improve their social and communication skills. ABA therapy can be used in the classroom to help with behavior management and to teach new skills. Here are 8 books that can help you learn more about ABA therapy and how to use it in the classroom.
1. Stop, Relax, and Think: How to Use Applied Behavior Analysis in the Classroom by Nancy Gahan
2. Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Delays by Mark Sundberg
3. The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Other Developmental Delays by Mary Lynch Barbera
4. Visual Strategies for Improving Communication by Linda Hodgdon
5. Interactive Activities for Children with Autism by Susan Stokes
6. Social Skills Activities for Special Needs Children by Darlene Anderson
7. Transition Activities for Special Needs Students by Jennifer Veenendall
8. Classroom Management Strategies for Teachers of Students with Autism by Barbara Boroson
ABA Therapy at Home
When it comes to ABA therapy, there are many ways that you can work on skills and techniques at home. Here are 8 books that can help you improve ABA therapy skills and techniques:
1. “The ABA Therapy Manual: A Step-By-Step Guide for Autism spectrum disorder Treatment” by Robert R. McCaig
2. “ABA Fundamentals: An Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis” by Julie S. Vargas
3. “The Parent’s Guide to ABA Therapy: How to Help Your Child Succeed in Behavioral Treatment” by Beth Fouse
4. “Visual Strategies for Improving Communication: An AAC Hierarchy from Preverbal to Higher Levels of Language” by Linda, M.S. Burkhart
5. “Functional Assessment and Program Development for Problem Behavior: A Practical Handbook” by David Hoch & Russ Marion
6. “Teaching Children with Autism to Mind-Read: The Pretence Model” by Patricia Howlin & Simon Baron-Cohen
7. “The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children” by Ross W. Greene
8. “A Work in Progress: Behavior Management Strategies and A Curriculum for Intensive Behavioral Treatment of Autism” by Eric Schopler & Gary B.<
ABA Therapy for Autism
There is a wide range of books available on ABA therapy, but not all of them are equally useful. Here are eight of the best books on ABA therapy that can help you improve your skills and techniques.
1. Applied Behavior Analysis for Autism spectrum disorder Evidence-Based Intervention by James E. Coleman, PhD
2. Teaching Autism Skills through Play by Ellen Notbohm and Veronica Zysk
3. The ABA cookbook: How to use the science of behavior to cook up success in the kitchen and beyond by Natalie Knickerbocker and Jeanette McAfee
4. Visual Strategies for Improving Communication by Nancy Tarshis
5. The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Other Developmental Delays by Mary Barbera
6. Early Start Denver Model for Young Children with Autism by Sally J. Rogers and Geraldine Dawson
7. Pivotal Response Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders by Robert Koegel and Lynn Kern Koegel
8. Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C Brown, Henry L Roediger III, and Mark A McDaniel
ABA Therapy for Children
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy is a scientific approach to changing human behavior. ABA uses observable and measurable outcomes to change a person’s behavior. ABA therapy applies the principles of behavior to real-world situations in order to improve social, communication, and academic skills.
There are many different techniques and strategies that can be used within ABA therapy. Here are 8 books that can help you learn more about ABA therapy and improve your ABA therapy skills and techniques:
The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Related Disorders by Mary Lynch Barbera and Tracy Rasmussen
Build Your Own Life Manual: Instructions for Achieving Happiness & Success One Day at a Time by James W. Greenwood
Achieving Social Success: Building Friendship Skills in Children with Autism spectrum disorder by Julia Haines Logan
Visual Supports for people with autism A Practical Guide for Parents and Professionals by Jennifer Vannatta Dizon
Goodbye Asperger’s, Hello Life!: How a New Understanding of Autism Will Transform the Way We treat Children Forever by Jurriaan Plesman, Gabi Scheffer, Annelies van Emmerik-van Oortmerssen, & Femke Hendriksen
Functional Assessment & Intervention for Challenging Behavior by Craig R. Johnson & Guy D##Summers
How to Teach Autistic and Asperger’s Kids Speech Therapy So They Can Talk? By Lora Jameson
The Mislabeled Child: Looking beyondbehavioral challenges – Unlocking the Potential within Every Student by Brock Eide, M.D., Fernette Fiedler, M.D.)
ABA Therapy for Adults
The science of behavior and learning continues to evolve, and applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapists must keep up-to-date with the latest research and clinical practices. Here are 8 new and recent ABA books that focus on working with adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.
“Calming”, “preventing challenging behavior”, and “maintaining gains” are some of the many topics addressed in these helpful guides:
1. “ABA for Adults with Autism: A Practical Manual” by Jon S. Sheldon, PhD & Morgan craft, MA
2. “The Art of Behavior Management: 50 Principles and Practices for Working With Individuals With Autism Across the Lifespan” by Peter Gerhardt, EdD
3. “Behavior Change techniques in ABA: 101 Ways to Successfully Change Behavior” By Kevin Mathers & Vanessa Slattengren
4. “CBT for Adults with ASD: A Practical Guide” by Emily Ruble & Tony Attwood
5. Pivotal Response Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Guide for Parents and Professionals (Nancy Kaufman Award winner)” by Ross Greene PhD & James Dimmitt MA CCC-SLP
6.”Visual Supports for Improving Communication Skills in Autism Spectrum Disorder” by John Zaro PhD & Amie Zaro BA
7.”Adults with Autism spectrum disorders: Understanding and Supporting Individuals Across the Lifespan” By Chloe Hoyland & Amy Waters PhD
8.”Functional Assessment and Function-Based Intervention: An Effectiveness Model for Addressing Problem Behavior in School Settings (The Guilford School Practitioner Series)” By Lynette K beliefs & Scott Rossignol MD PhD
ABA Therapy for Families
ABA therapy, short for Applied Behavior Analysis, is a type of therapy that helps people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities improve their ability to function in everyday life. The therapy is based on the principle that all behavior is learned and that positive reinforcement can be used to encourage desired behavior.
ABA therapy can be delivered in a variety of ways, but most commonly it is provided in one-on-one sessions with a trained therapist. Sessions typically last for 30-60 minutes and focus on specific goals that have been identified by the child’s parents or caregivers.
While ABA therapy can be expensive and time-consuming, there are a number of books that families can use to learn more about the basics of ABA and how to implement it at home. Here are eight of our favorites:
“The Autism Playbook for Teens: Imagination-Based Mindfulness Activities to Calm Yourself, Build Independence, and Connect with Others” by Eileen Miller
“The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Related Disorders” by Mary Barbera
“Teaching Social Skills to Children and Teens with Autism or Asperger’s Disorder” by Jed Baker
“Visual Strategies for Improving Communication: Essential Tools for Nonverbal Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, and other Social-Communication Delays” by Emily Iland
“The idea behind ABA is simple: figure out what an individual wants or needs, then teach them the skills necessary to get it.”
With these goals in mind, ABA therapists work tirelessly to help their patients develop the abilities they need to lead happy and successful lives. These books can serve as valuable resources for families who want to learn more about how to support their loved ones in this process.
Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.