According to the increasing behaviour analyses conducted nowadays ensuring the competence of behaviour analytic professionals is important. The education and the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board (BACB) can ensure the competence of behaviour analysts (Eikeseth, 2010). There are two ways to get Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBA) certification. The first way is university coursework: the practitioners must have at least a Masters’ degree, which has 225 classroom hours of specific graduate coursework to meet the BACB coursework requirement and also pass the Behaviour Analyst Certification Examination.
The second way is teaching in college: the practitioners must have at least one year of full time faculty position which teaching behavioural contents (Hughes & Shook, 2007; Shook, Ala’i-Rosales & Glenn, 2002). These can ensure that professionals receive advanced theoretical training and advanced knowledge of ABA principles, and that University coursework provides thorough graduate programmes in behaviour analysis. Moreover, the level of practitioner competency is a key factor in the success of the early intervention.
Thus the adequate training of therapists is important. Competent therapists and practitioners with adequate training can use behavioural techniques effectively and make systematic improvements in the child’s behaviour (Koegel, Russo, & Rincover, 1977). In addition, Granpeesheh et al. , (2010) also suggested training behavioural therapists using both traditional training approach (i. e. ABA lecture and group discussion), and alternative training approach (i. e. e-learning instructions).
Knowledge of ABA principles and procedures increased after the hired trainee received training using traditional training procedures. The traditional training may be effective and efficient for new therapists and it may affect the quality of teaching. Similar results were found in Hayward, Gale, and Eikeseth, (2009). They described components that make and the ABA programme effective; two of these essential components are quality staff training and intensive supervision.
Tutors should have comprehensive training (both basic theoretical principles and advanced theoretical principles), which includes company information; employment documents; code of practice and related policies; child protection policy; health and safety information; ABA theory, and skills about applying advanced learning principles. Tutors should received intensive supervision about 5 hours per week from consultant.
There are some ey instructional elements to the ABA approach for teaching children with autism; for instance, discrete trial is an approach to teach concrete skills by using a single cycle of the behaviourally based instruction (Grindle et al. , 2009). Therapists will show the specific instruction: discriminative stimulus (such as ‘give me a book’) to the child, then use prompt to increase the probability of a correct response (such as point at the specific ball) and give the reward; positive reinforcement to motivate the performance (such as ‘a favourite toy’) after the correct response.
These trials may repeat several times in short instructional sessions. Task analysis is also a key component of ABA that involves breaking complex skills down into less complicated tasks or simple tasks. This procedure involves presenting a simple task at the beginning of the intervention and then elevating the difficulty levels of the activities (Grindle et al. , 2009).
Peters-Scheffer, Didden, Mulders, and Korzilius (2010) conducted a school-based ABA programme; children with autism and intellectual disabilities who received additional ABA programme from one to one teaching about 6. 5 hours per week in preschool setting significantly achieved better scores on developmental age (i. e. communication, social skills, and daily living) than other peers who received teaching programme as usual (control group).
The treatment implemented in this study was a behavioural treatment executed by trainers and staff who were trained with ABA procedures by a supervisor with extensive ABA experience. The training programme by the special educator included training about behaviour procedures (i. e. discrete trails, prompting, or reinforcement), conducting role play, giving feedback (both verbal instruction and modelling), and planning the programme with parents and classroom teachers.
Many studies have shown the important role of therapists as staff who implement interventions. This is also highlighted in other fields of ABA such as active support. Active support, which is based on ABA procedures, all support was derived from trained staff to accomplish the significant purpose of active support, which increases the opportunities of meaningful cooperation in daily life routines or activities that match with the level of ability and age (Toogood, 2008).
The staff is provided with individual training and feedback from a leader trainer who records their behaviour, along with the children’s. They are also trained in preparing materials, assisting children during tasks and using reinforcement in order to encourage the meaningful participation of people with learning disabilities in daily life activities and improving their quality of life. Active support is one of the examples of how the quality of training can affect outcomes.
It focuses on staff training, and shows how this training imparted to therapists who provide support and assistance for clients in everyday life activities can minimize challenging behaviours (Totsika, Toogood, & Hastings, 2008). Similar to active support, ABA programme also requires the therapist to be trained well so as to use the ABA principles to help build socially significant behaviours, minimise undesired behaviours, and improve quality of life. There for therapists who implemented the treatment is one of variables, which impact the quality of intervention.
Grey, Honan, McClean, and Daly (2005) also suggested that factors that affected the effectiveness of ABA programme in typical school settings include the practitioner’s skills, the intensity of the programme, the staff’s qualification, the staff’s training and the supervision under experienced specialists. This study evaluated the effectiveness of an ABA training course for eleven staff members (female special needs teachers) who implemented the ABA programme (i. e. onducted both decreasing behaviour programme and increasing behaviour programme) in a typical school setting for eleven children.
All training staff had experience in the field of ABA, attended relevant workshops and also received 45 hours of training for ABA principles, and 45 hours of training for practical ABA. The results indicated that the children who received the ABA programme with trained staff had significant reductions in challenging behaviours (such as verbal-physical aggression, hitting or inappropriate urinating).
The trained staff felt that they learned more about ABA, and these ABA principles were important for their teaching and their behaviour plans, allowing them to resolve challenging behaviour effectively and systematically. Eikeseth et al. (2002) suggested that ABA intervention for children with autism was most effective when the intervention was implemented by highly trained behaviour analysts about 25 and 35 hours per week before the child is 5 years old, further lending credence to the fact that the importance of training was an important factor.