Behavior Intervention and Support

Nova provides services in the area of behavioral interventions to families and individuals, services for Missouri First Steps, as well as services to area school districts (early childhood-high school) including in-district and homebound services.  Nova’s Intervention and Support Services are provided by board certified behavior analysts (BCBA).  All assessments, interventions, and data collection procedures are based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis.

What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

Behavior analysis is a scientifically validated approach to understanding behavior and how it is affected by the environment.  In this context, “behavior” refers to actions and skills.  “Environment” includes any influence-physical or social-that might change or be changed by one’s behavior.

Behavior analysis focuses on the principles that explain how learning takes place.  Positive reinforcment is one such principle.  When a behavior is followed by some sort of reward, the behavior is more likely to be repeated.  Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning.  Applied behavior analysis is the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior.

What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development.  These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.  Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Desease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 88 American children as on the autism spectrum-a-ten fold increase in prevalence in 40 years.  Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls, Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development.  However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age.  Early intervention with proven behavioral therapies can imporve outcomes.  One of the most important things you can do as a parent or caregiver is to learn the early signs of autism and become familiar with the typical developmental milestones that your child should be reaching.

How Does ABA Benefit Those with Autism and other developmental disabilities?

Today, ABA is widely recognized as a safe and effective treatment for autism.  Over the last decade, the nation has seen a particularly dramatic increase in the use of ABA to help persons with autism live happy and productive lives.  In particular, ABA principles and techniques can foster basic skills such as looking, listening and imitating, as well as complex skills such as reading, conversing and understanding another person’s prespective.  ABA is not specific to autism alone.

A number of completed studies have demonstrated that ABA techniques can produce improvements in communication, social relationships, play, self-care, school and employment.

 

Contact Us for more information.