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Q: What is Applied Behaviour Analysis?

Why do people behave the way they do?  The father of behavior analysis, B. F. Skinner, brought into perspective the concept of operant behavior in the 1930s.  Applied Behaviour Analysis emerged during the 1960s when researchers began to apply the principles of behaviour in an effort to improve socially important behaviour via the experimentation and manipulation of environmental variables.  In the past five decades, the Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis (JABA) has published various research involving applications of principles of behaviours to problems of social importance. 

Q: Why is it effective?

Applied Behaviour Analysis is one of the most widely-used evidence-based treatments for individuals across all ages.  It is effective for teaching a vast range of skills to people with disabilities across different settings.  Specifically, the most successful early intervention programs to be documented are based on the application of the principles of ABA.  The scope of ABA includes teaching individuals with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders to acquire language and communication[1], promoting prosocial skills and peer engagement in preeschoolers[2] and teaching preliteracy skills and classroom behaviours to children with disabilities[3].

At Bridge Academy, we embrace the differences in our students with special needs.  Every student attending Bridge Academy is provided with the utmost care and support.  We utilize the techniques and principles described in ABA to help our students to build upon their strengths and also to acquire skills necessary to improve upon their weaknesses.  Therapists at Bridge Academy are equipped with the latest updates regarding research and training in the field of ABA.  They are here to offer our students the quality and patience that are crucial to their learning and development in the areas of language and communication and social and emotional behaviors.      

[1] Lerman, Parten, Addison, Vorndran, Volkert, & Kodak, 2005, p. 303-316; Kodak, Clements, & Ninness, 2009, p. 839-843

[2] Hanley, Heal, Tiger, & Ingvarsson, 2007, p. 277-300; Betz, Higbee, & Reagon, 2008, p. 237-241

[3] Axe & Sainato, 2010, p. 635-652; Charania, LeBlanc, Sabanathan, Ktaech, Carr, & Gunby, 2010, p. 493-497

 


Q: What is Chan-based mind-body intervention

Chan-based mind-body intervention is a holistic intervention approach developed based on traditional Chinese Chan principle and Chan medical model with its origin in China for more than a thousand years. It was since 2007 that this intervention approach has been scientifically and systematically studied in clinical research conducted by the Chanwuyi Research Center for Neuropsychological Well-being at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).  This intervention aims at improving physical health, mood and cognitive functions of human through cultivating positive thinking and attitude, adopting a healthier diet and practicing some mind-body exercises.  It has also been applied to children with autism to improve their cognitive abilities and reduce their behavioural and emotional problems with positive outcomes.  For more details about the intervention and related research, please visit the official website of the research center at CUHK (www.chanwuyicenter.com).

In view of the potential benefits of this evidence-based intervention approach on children with special needs, our school has attempted to practice certain mind-body exercises with some children every morning and afternoon before class.  Those children are able to follow the sound track and the videos (that are available in the research center website) to perform the simple movements of the exercises.  Some degree of improvement has been observed so far in those children:

"My daughter joined Bridge Academy in 2014. She started off with a very short attention span and the school suggested her to do a 3-minute session of Chan-based exercise in the morning and after lunch. After the first few weeks, we observed an increase in attention during class. Her session duration has since been increased up to 8 minutes and we have noticed she is a lot more attentive in class. I am really happy with the professionalism and I highly recommend the integration of Chan-based exercise with ABA therapy. " -- Emily Young whose daughter joined Bridge Academy in 2014.

Parents also reported that their children had improved social communication with others, reduced repetitive behaviours and loss of control after the application of the treatment.

All these positive changes are encouraging.  Yet, it is believed that a greater degree of improvement can be achieved by extending the practice time at school and even at home.  Therefore, our school will gradually increase the practice time and parents are encouraged to practice the exercise with their children with the help of the self-learning videos.  Also, as mentioned earlier, it is a holistic intervention approach that also composes thought-changing and diet modification, parents may consider changing their living attitude and adopting the Chan-based diet for potentially greater improvements.

Click here (
http://www.chanwuyicenter.com/Dejian-Mind-body-Intervention) for related details.

 


Q: Why Is Early Intervention Important?

Early intervention is a program that promote child's age-appropriate developmental growth. It is crucial for children with developmental concerns because early diagnosis incorporated with effective early intervention can assist the child to reach their maximum potential. Studies have been done to show children with autism spectrum disorder who enter programs at a younger age acquire greater achievements than those who enter programs at later ages.

Bridge Academy delivers a flexible range of evidence based intervention services for children aged up to eleven years old. We strive to provide services and programs that would guide the child to reach their age-appropriate developmental growth and provide support to parents with information and skills to enhance the child's development.