early childhood services

Applied Behavior Analysis Services in Lancaster, PA

Applied Behavior Analysis Services in Lancaster, PA

At Excentia Human Services, we are passionate about seeing your child grow and develop new skills. Because of this, we have designed an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program to help children with developmental delays reach their fullest potential.

What Is ABA Therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis is an evidence-based form of therapy that’s often used with children to address behavioral and emotional concerns. ABA therapy studies science and learning to help those with autism and other developmental disabilities gain skills to live safer and more independent lives.

On a deeper level, ABA can help behavior therapists understand the basics of a child’s behavior and address the root of it. Specifically, ABA analyzes how behavior works, how it is affected by the environment and how the learning process best occurs for each child. Once these things are understood, the behavior analyst can apply how the child’s behavior works to real situations, teaching them how to cope in certain circumstances. 

ABA therapy can also assist your child throughout their life span.

What Does ABA Address?

ABA addresses atypical behaviors by decreasing ones that are harmful or affect learning and socialization and increasing helpful ones. Examples of harmful or destructive behaviors include screaming, self-harm like scratching, head-banging or hair-pulling and harm toward others, like hitting or kicking. In these situations, ABA is sought if a child with autism or another developmental disability seems to be a risk to themselves or others. ABA begins by addressing the unsafe behavior, identifying the triggers and channeling these emotions into a healthier alternative.

Children with developmental delays may have difficulties communicating their needs. As a result, their behaviors may become destructive as they try to express themselves. For example, a child may begin to bang their fists onto tables or walls, injuring themselves and others caught in the crossfire. But what drives this behavior?

Applied Behavior Analysis looks at the following factors to discover triggers:

While a child banging their fists on a table may seem to exude anger, this isn’t always the case. Instead, the child may respond this way out of pain, sadness, overstimulation or other emotions. Every child is different, but there is always a reason behind why they act the way they do.

What Does Our ABA Therapy Program Involve?

No two children going through an ABA therapy program will be exactly alike. Every session at Excentia is tuned to the child’s needs and understanding of their behaviors, with a unique plan based on their age and abilities. A trained behavior analyst will oversee the child’s program and incorporate the child’s interests into the plan to keep them engaged.

Every program will include a structure along the lines of the following services:

  • Positive reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is the primary strategy throughout the learning process. This technique can encourage children to repeat wanted behaviors by offering a reward each time the behaviors are exhibited. Positive reinforcement is an initial incentive and can eventually lead to behavior change.
  • Antecedent, behavior and consequence: These steps — also known as the A-B-C’s — help a child understand the results of their actions. For example, if a teacher asks the child to clean up their toys (antecedent) and the child responds negatively (behavior), the teacher will confiscate the toys for a time (consequence).
  • Planning and ongoing assessment: Treatment goals are discussed at the beginning and worked toward in every session. Sessions could be two to five hours long, with the treatment duration depending on your child’s progress. Goals can include — but are not limited to — communication, social skills, personal hygiene, academics and motor skills. The child’s parents or legal guardians will also receive training to help their child practice their new skills in naturally occurring situations.

Why Choose Excentia Human Services?

At Excentia, we genuinely wish to see your child succeed. Excentia is a local nonprofit that’s been serving Lancaster and the surrounding community for over 50 years. If you are a qualifying family, our services will come at no cost to you. 

While this specific ABA therapy program is for children and young adults from birth to age 18, our service is not limited to this age group. We are one of the few providers that include complete life span services, even offering several programs for adults with developmental disabilities. When you choose Excentia, we can partner with you or your child for life.

Our ultimate goal is to nurture a safe and engaging learning environment that gives your child space to grow. We want to help them live a life that is meaningful to them.

Contact Us Today!

Could your child benefit from our Applied Behavior Analysis therapy program in Lancaster, PA? For more information on our services, contact Melissa — our Director of Children’s Services — using the online form. Our team is excited to work with you and your child, walking alongside you through every step in the journey.

PROGRAM testimonial

“This year my son has some spontaneous speech and is in kindergarten! I got to hear him say “love you!” We wouldn’t be where we are now without the solid base we got from Excentia Human Services. We are forever grateful.”

– Elissa

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Melissa

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If you have a question or would like more information, please contact Melissa, Director of Children’s Services.

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