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Published on Feb 2, 2011
This is a good example of Applied Behavioral Analysis in action using an approach called Verbal Behavior. The therapist is a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst. E is three years old. He was diagnosed with Autism when he was 18 months old.
[update] E is now 9 years old. He still gets speech therapy although his verbal ability is about 75% of typical. He is in mainstream public education with some minor accommodations and pull out time for speech and social skills. He is two years ahead in math and above grade level in all other academic areas. He loves soccer, science, and math. He does still flap his arms when excited but above all else, he is a very happy, loving boy.
[update] E is 8 years old, in mainstream education with some assists. Academically grade level or above in all subjects. Very happy boy, outgoing and friendly. Has some ADHD issues and challenges in a learning environment. Loves soccer, science, numbers and has been doing hip-hop dancing for two years now. Plays the piano and has perfect pitch.
[update] Now a year later, his verbal ability is vastly improved. He can ask for anything he needs, has much longer sentences and says things like "Oh look at all the grass! It's beautiful!" He can count to 30, knows his ABCs and can even spell some words. He plays with his brother and parents, takes turns, laughs, hugs and says hello and thank you. There's still a lot of work ahead for him to be able to function in a classroom setting with typical kids but because of ABA he is definitely on track.
[update] E is now almost 5 years old. His communication and social skills have progressed greatly. Here is a video of him describing the animals he sees in clouds.