A Natural Approach to ABA
There are dozens of terms, acronyms thrown around in world applied behavior analysis. While you may not have heard of Natural Environment Teaching (NET) before, naturalistic teaching strategies have been around for decades. Other names and variations of NET include:
- Early Start Denver Model
- Reciprocal Imitation Training
- Incidental Teaching
- Embedded Learning Opportunities
- Pivotal Response Training
- Natural Language Paradigm
A naturalistic approach is designed to help kiddos develop skills in the areas of communication and social development. Natural Environment Teaching does this by to responding children in ways that are naturally reinforcing, appropriate to the interaction, and build up to more elaborate behaviors.
Naturalistic strategies are embedded within routines and activities that occur throughout the day. While naturalistic teaching may differ from some other strategies used in ABA, such as discrete trail training, NET is still based on behavior principals of ABA.
The common characteristics of a Naturalistic approach are:
The materials and pace of teaching is determined by the child. E.G. If your your child is interested in wooden blocks, you teach social and communication skills with the blocks.
Teaching occurs in the natural environment. Teaching during play, at home and during daily routines encourages generalization of skills. (eg. Max can sit and eat dinner with the family at home or at a restaurant) It also allows the adult to use their insights about a kiddo’s interests and expand upon them to develop a child’s skills.
Can be used for pre-verbal, non verbal and verbal children.Naturalistic intervention has demonstrated effectiveness with toddlers with ASD and is appropriate for kiddos of various cognitive levels.
Capitalizes on Motivation. Since the child choosing the materials and leading the pace, they are letting you know what is motivating to them. When following their lead, there are opportunities throughout the day to learn while they are motivated.
Generalization and maintenance are built into the teaching strategy. When using NET, every therapy session may look different based on the child’s preferences and interests.That means kiddos get to learn social and communication skills in a variety of ways and in different situations.
Positive Pathways provides in-home, center-based and school based ABA services to children on Autism spectrum. We serve children in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
Thanks for reading. I hope you found this helpful 🙂
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