The results are in! Is it good news or bad news?
The results are in! Is it good news or bad news?March 29, 2016, CJ's Corner
In the world of ABA, results drive the work we do. Results are everything! The question is not only “Has the client gotten better,” but “Have we improved the quality of life for the client and the family?” “Are things better at home, at school and have we been able to contribute to a support team that will continue improvements?”
The real measure of results includes meeting the goals that are socially significant. It is imperative that the ABA work that has been done supports the client, the family, the school and the community as well as teaches the skills necessary for success. This does not show up as a single anecdote, rather as clear evidence that the procedures and processes developed have become part of the client’s life. Effective results means the work done has been socially validated by those affected by becoming part of the client’s life. We are talking about the larger picture, not just important basic skills for independence, an environment where socially significant behaviors are supported in daily life. Can the client be independent? Will social interactions further the successes necessary for everyday life? Will improved efforts be rewarded?
To produce the results addressed above, it is essential that we include everyone in the client’s life who plays a supporting role and by promoting the goals that are important to those same people. For everyone participating in the life of someone diagnosed with ASD (i.e practitioners, families, teachers, etc.) we have to ask ourselves – “are we working together to produce the kind of results that are socially significant, using acceptable procedures that promote reinforcement and are the least restrictive, and including the client in the process at every possible turn?” This is what it takes to produce effective results, results that are evident to any observer and that clearly indicate an improved quality of life. We need results that last.
Those results come from hard work, and lots of it. This includes working smarter not just harder and using, here it comes, data, to ensure we are not just creating an illusion of improvement but true changes that stand up to a simple analysis of increased skills and decreased problems. To my way of thinking, the allure of emotional anecdotes clouds our vision of true results, or lasting results, that are identified when we can quantify, as well as qualify, an increased quality of life for all involved. This remains our challenge as well as our task.
Life is 24/7 and for someone diagnosed with ASD, autism is working on them 24/7. The best chance we have to improve the quality of life is to increase supportive treatments that goes beyond the moment a therapist walks out the door, and continues with doing what we can, when we can. When mistakes are made, on either side of a situation, the best results come from learning from the moment and moving towards a “fresh start”. Allow yourself and your learner a fresh start andkeep moving forward. This applies to all of us. We need all the help we can get.