|Type of paper:||Research paper|
|Categories:||Learning School Autism Behavior change|
Children with autism are increasing growing to a larger population each day. Today, one in sixty eight kids are autistic (Donaldson, 2014). As a result, techniques for treating and teaching students with Autism Spectrum in schools became critical. Until recently, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) has been recommended as a technique. Applied behavioral Analysis is a therapy based on science of learning and behavior. ABA is designed to make people understand how behavior works and how it affects learning process. In addition, ABA increases one's useful behaviors by decreasing the effect of the harmful behaviors that might affect one's learning. Consequently, ABA programs serves to increase one's language and communication skills thus, improves learners' attentiveness in the classroom situation for instance. Increased attention increases one's memory, social skills as well as academic performance.
In addition, reducing child's dependence by giving them room to attempt performing an activity is also a positive reinforcement. An example is in a classroom when the teacher gives the learner a chance to attempt questions before he/she can discuss them. Relatively, maintenance strategies like continuous assessment are employed to ensure mastery of a skill among learners. Provision of stimuli that will encourage a child to try a given behavior is also a strategy of ABA.
Due to the uniqueness and effectiveness of ABA in building children's learning power, this study evaluates a social Action plan that describes the importance of ABA programs on learners in the provision of a fair education. In addition, the study reveals effectiveness of Applied Behavior Analysis to autistic children compared to other methods such as Eclecticism.
Applied Behavioral Analysis as A National Association of Social Workers Ethics (NASW)
Value of Service
Public schools' goal is to help learners gain more skills and knowledge on various fields. When ABA is applied in school for teaching purposes, teachers are able to encourage learners stick to a behavior through reinforcement. Also, ABA exposes learners to thirst of knowing more every day, stimulated by their educators.
Social Injustice discouraged among social workers. Schools serves to treat every learner and worker same despite of their race, age, class, culture. Typically, public schools are made of children of diverse culture, race, social class and even religion. Despite all these, every school serves to ensure every learner get access to learning materials, as well as attends lessons.
Ensuring Dignity and Worth of every Member
Respect to every member and protection of their dignity. Every teacher and learner is treated with respect despite their cultural differences, ethnic diversity as the institution is always mindful on people's differences.
Every worker should recognize importance of human relationship. In order to maintain good performance among the children, teachers and administration works together as a team. Relatively, team work among learners lead by educators is also a revelation of the principle.
Integrity and Competence
Good behavior among social workers. Every worker in a public school is aware of the goals, mission, values, principles as well as ethics that guide the institution. Learners and teachers tend to embrace ethical practices in a manner consistent
Social Workers Enhances their competence. Learners strive every time of the time to gain more skills while teachers attend various trainings and seminars with a mission of delivering more to their dependents.
Rationale for Applied Behavioral Analysis Programs in Public Schools
According to Mandela (2003), "education is a powerful weapon to change the world". Due to the increased number of children with autism, creating a learner environment remains a challenge, thus need for a favorable education procedures.
Through Applied and Experimental, Science behavioral Analysis has shown effective ways to influence human behavior. The analysis discovered that human behavior operates on natural laws which influence a desired change in behavior (Myerson and Hale, 1984). This is supported by Donaldson (2014), who implied that learning is influenced by the consequences of the behavior which actually, determines reoccurrence of that given behavior. According to Donaldson, ABA is a three part contingency made of event before an occurrence of a behavior, individual's behavior and the consequences.
Moreover, BF Skinner noted the importance of reinforcement to learners (1957). This means that a learner's behavior is mostly controlled by consequences imposed by others (Ryan et al., 2014). This conclusion by BF Skinner forms the genesis of ABA technique as an effective method for learners (Ryan et al., 2014).
Additionally, it was discovered that ABA effect improvements and adjustment of behaviors relevant to learner's environment (Dillenburger, Keenan, 2009). Evidently, ABA is data driven therefore; it is possible to achieve the behavioral changes expected by educators or therapist (Dillenburger et al., 2009). Teaching is a repeated process done over and over again until the mastery process is attained. Because every child/learner's needs are different, various learning formats are employed.
Discrete trial method involves one-on-one interaction with the educator. During this format, ABA strategies; clear instructions, careful application of prompting as well immediate reinforcement for positive responses are employed. For example, when a child gives a wrong response to question, it is ignored (Zaman, 2011). Discrete Trial Training is characterized by aspects that makes it learner friendly. To mention, it is short thus, children have more time to learn. Secondly, teachers interacts face to face with learners therefore, teacher is able to tailor his/her instructions clearly. Lastly, discrete trial creates a target learning environment since; learner's needs are readily clarified (Smith, 2001).
Second ABA format employed has less structured design such as unexpected lessons which prepare learners for possible learning situations. Lastly, overall teaching which serves to improves learner's utilization of instructions in a group. As proven above, ABA is indeed an effective learning technique for children with autism. It is the only method that at least, has encouraged children with autism to imitate actions like imitation of speech sounds (Smith, 2002).
Among the stakeholders are administrators, parents, teachers, community, as well as state representatives. Stakeholders' serves to ensure students receive better education thus; their role in the context is inevitable (Mitchell et al., 1997). Stakeholders form the leadership team of a school who leads in issues such as, decision making processes. The Key leaders and opinion makers in this sector include;
Public schooling was a decision by various States to ensure, all learners receive quality education regardless of their social class and background. Free education in America, is managed by three states consisting of the federal government which provides funding to the schools. Local government on the other hand, deals with day to day teaching decisions and State government which guides education in each state. State government serves the following critical roles;
Head teacher or Principal
Principals were discovered as the key leaders of public school since they serve as the managers of the school. They perform various activities vital on matters welfare of the school.
To begin with, they influence students' performance indirectly through the selection and choice, timing as well as accumulation of various strategies. They also guide schools in searching for possible ways that will create a learner-centered environment. In addition, a principal enhances development of the school as well as that of the teaching staff.
According to Fullan (1991), role of a teacher in the implementation of an educational reform is critical. Teachers have a continuous direct connection with the students therefore, their opinions in creating an effective learning environment stands to be more effective.
As mentioned earlier, role of stakeholder in every organization is such critical. However, relative importance of each stakeholder may vary over time (Mitchell et al., 1997). Among the key stakeholders of a public school are teachers, state government, and parents. In encouraging the implementation of applied behavioral Analysis for autism in public schools, state government's acceptance is very important now that it is the policy makers.
Additionally, approval of parents is primary because they are the direct beneficiaries of the public education who knows what's best for their children. Without the state and federal government's approval, the plan will fail to take action even if, the school administration seek to have it practiced. This is so because, Autism in public school requires funding, planning and public consideration before it takes effect.
Introducing an applied behavioral analysis (ABA) in public schools may highly be accepted or rejected by teachers (opinion leaders) who face challenges in teaching children with autism spectrum in a school of non-autism as the majority of the population. On the other hand, parents, who seek a quality education for their children, will find this technique favorable. However, government poses high power, may oppose the plan for various reasons such as, judging funding and planning of the project to be expensive.
Power Structure of Public School
State and federal government like is in the US case, forms the central body to public education. Principals on the other, act as managers running the institution. Teachers as proposed by previous studies are the opinion leaders thus, will serve to influence ABA programs in public school learning. Further, Parents serves the role of supporting school's decisions given, it will contribute to their children's performance.
Government as the top body in implementing the proposed plan, may negatively impact the strategy if it stands to perceive ABA to be expensive or resource utilizing. However, if the state government works to ensure all learners are served, it will see a need of investing ABA programs in creating education even for the marginalized group.
State Government Representatives
Public schools are managed under the control of state government who serves as the policy makers, advocates as well as liaison of the school with other allies. As a result, for my proposed plan to take action, support from the state government is primary. Therefore, I would select a representative who'll connect me with the state indirectly or directly. This may be a local politician informed on maters projects for public schools. State government in consultation with the state representatives, federal government and local government, will judge the effectiveness of the project before it can be implemented.
The disadvantage state government is that direct involvement in the plan can be unsatisfactory since government tends to invest on projects affecting the majority. Moreover, their decision is final at all cost.
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