Parents of children with challenging behaviours know what it’s like to reach the end of their tether. To wonder HOW on earth they’re going to help their child after exhausting all the traditional avenues.
It’s a scenario that Dr Megan Borlase, Senior Behaviour Analyst for not-for-profit, Lojic Institute, is all too familiar with. And it’s why she’s so passionate about the way Lojic Institute is tackling behaviour issues, through the use of Applied Behaviour Analysis, for children and adults in the Illawarra. “Behaviour analysis and support isn’t as well understood here in Australia,” Megan tells Parents Guide. “But it’s specifically designed to complement other therapies and identify skill and behaviour deficits to help adults and children with disabilities get the most out of life.”
1. What IS Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)?
So what exactly IS ABA? And more importantly, what can it do that other therapies can’t?
ABA is the science of understanding behaviour. A science, just like physics and chemistry, that teaches us that behaviour follows “rules”. Therapy based on ABA involves the assessment of behaviour and the application of what we know about behaviour to change the environment in ways that result in positive behaviour change. This is sometimes referred to as ‘Positive Behaviour Support.’ In Megan’s words, ABA looks for the ‘why’. Why is this behaviour happening? A Behaviour Analyst will look at the world around a child (or adult) and identify what needs to be adapted to help every individual have the best possible quality of life.
2. There is no one-size-fits-all approach with ABA.
It’s a completely individualised therapy that is tailored to the specific needs of your child. Whether it’s tackling behaviour associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or a different kind of developmental difficulty, ABA goes to the source of the issue to provide evidence based intervention. Your appointment with a Behaviour Analyst won’t happen in an office in a pre-scheduled time. It will take place in your home. Or at the supermarket. The dinner table. The classroom. Wherever it is that the challenging behaviour is taking place, is where this therapy will be utilised. “We go where the problem is,” says Megan. And that’s what makes it different. It targets the behaviour being displayed in ‘real time’ and day-to-day life. “We are all about preserving what makes [each child] special, but helping them navigate the world,” says Megan.
3. A holistic, whole family approach
When it comes to treating problem behaviours, therapy needs to go beyond the hour spent with a specialist. This is why Lojic Institute and their team of Behaviour Specialists formulate their treatment plan alongside each family and their specific needs. “We ask families; what does your child need to engage better?” says Megan. “And we design our therapy to fit in with them.” We all know how kids thrive on consistency. ABA works to ensure that everyone, from family to other therapists, school teachers, teachers’ aides, the whole support spectrum are on the same page, working towards the same goals. “We make sure the people who are supporting the child know how to do what we’re doing,” says Megan. “We support them to do those things and troubleshoot and problem solve alongside them.”
4. ABA: Not just for ASD
While applied behaviour analysis is often associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the Lojic Institute offers services to support a whole range of intellectual and developmental disabilities, neurological disorders, behaviour disorders, and mental illnesses. They can help with everything from food selectivity and meal time meltdowns to daily living skills, play and social skills and sleep and settling related issues. Wherever the problem lies, ABA is able to utilise over 50 years of research to devise a tailored solution.
The Lojic Institute offers services for families including:
Lojic Behaviour – Clinical behaviour services to manage challenging or dangerous behaviours and utilises ABA to provide a comprehensive behaviour assessment, intervention and positive behaviour support plans.
Lojic Life – Evidence-based services that support children and adults to develop new skills including communication, daily living skills, pre-vocation, academic, social skills, play skills, and direction following.
Lojic Design – Support for planning life stage transitions.
Lojic Capacity – Specialist support for families, teachers and organisations including family assistance, coaching, mentoring, behaviour support plan implementation and team development, coaching and training
Whatever it is you’re dealing with, Lojic is committed to providing the support and solutions that you need.
Wondering if Lojic can help your family? Everyone is entitled to a FREE 15 minute phone appointment where Dr Megan and the team can quickly identify if and how Lojic can provide effective support and how it can be tailored to your unique situation. Please call 0436 603 674.
The Lojic Institute also holds support sessions for carers of kids with autism, ADHD or disabilities starting from the 24th of October in Wollongong and then across the year, click here follow the Lojic Facebook page to stay updated :)
With our thanks to Lojic Institute for sharing this evidence based information with us and for sponsoring this article, so parents and carers can consider if ABA can help :)