ABA in schools

By now, you’ve heard us talk about the fact that ABA therapy can be utilized in a variety of settings. Whether your child is in therapy with the RBT/BCBA, at home with you, or out in the community, there are always opportunities to help your child’s progress. One of the most important places the ABA therapy plan needs to be administered is in school. Children spend most of their days in school with their teachers and peers. Consistency across the board is crucial to children’s progress in therapy, so having school teachers implement the behavior plans is key. In today’s post, we will talk about ABA in the school setting.

One major topic we have to cover in this post is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The original version of IDEA was enacted in 1990, replacing the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. IDEA has been amended many times since it’s conception. In the current version, one of the six parts of the act is Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). This part of the act guarantees the learning environment that is most appropriate for the child in a public education system.

At first glance, you may want to ask yourself how this all relates back to ABA. ABA is a specialized field and requires training for people in children’s lives to properly implement. However, if you look up at the FAPE stipulation of IDEA, this is where ABA would be able to be implemented in schools. If the team determines that ABA is the most appropriate education style for the child, then by law, that child’s teachers have to implement ABA.

Not only is it considered lawful in some cases to implement ABA for certain children, it can also be beneficial for other students. Most students respond positively to some behavior strategies we use, such as reinforcement. Many teachers use a token economy for children in their classroom to catch them being good. Others use different types of reinforcement to elicit appropriate responses from students, such as staying in their seats and doing the work given to them. We will discuss more about reinforcement in another post!

We hope you enjoyed reading how ABA can and should be implemented in schools. Proper implementation on all fronts is crucial for children’s progress. Since school is a central part of children’s lives, it not only makes sense to implement ABA within the classroom, but also necessary. Thanks for reading, see you next time!