Progress towards goals is because of ABA

October 04, 2019

10.4.19  Our ABA Clinic is providing services beyond the regular school day.

This little story tells of one student’s growth because of her work in the Clinic. 

Asking for what we need and want is so important in life, isn’t it? Among other skills, “L” has been working on learning to use PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) to communicate needs and wants. 

Over the course of time, students who are learning to use PECS will come to understand that the picture symbols have meaning. They learn to associate a given symbol with its object or person. They learn to exchange it for the item it represents, and then, when this action is reinforced, the student learns to use if for making other requests, or communicating other information. Oftentimes students will also begin to verbally reproduce the word that the symbol represents as their teacher or therapist is modeling the word repeatedly.

Part of ABA instruction is to find the items and activities that are highly reinforcing to the student, and provide those reinforcers as the student engages in the skill in the manner in which the therapist requests. This process of determining the child’s preferred reinforcers is called a preference assessment, and is an ongoing process, since interests are ever-changing.

Ms. Laura, Ms. Meggie, and Ms. Breanna have been working with “L” and part of their teaching has been to find the items and activities that are highly reinforcing for her. Early on they discovered her excitement over the fish tank, and when she eventually requested “fish” and did her work for feeding the fish as her reinforcer, there was much celebration!

Now, just about a month later, she requests “fish” as her reinforcer commonly, and along the way has also learned to feed them with less assistance, to get the food, open the sliding tab, and to put it back. While there, she has worked on other skills, too: counting, tapping, and high fives are a few to name.

Awesome job! #ABA #PositiveReinforcement #Jobs #LifeSkills #FunctionalCommunication


Crossroads operates on the science and methodologies of ABA – Applied Behavior Analysis. It’s been the foundation of the program for 20 plus years, and it’s one of the aspects of the organization that makes this school unique.

We believe in ABA because of the wealth of research backing its effectiveness.

Research supports ABA

National Standards Project Phase 2

The school’s classrooms, therapy departments and the clinic, all utilize the techniques and principles of ABA in creating and implementing individual education plans and lesson plans.

This is the case whether students are working in groups….

making a special visit to the Executive Director.

Whether they are learning to label objects…

or to put animals in, on, or in front of the barn. 

Whether they are learning to jump …

or to deliver healthy foods to other classrooms. 

Whether writing words……. 

or making a healthy food….

…whatever it is, it’s being done ABA style.

The structure with which activities are presented, with tasks broken down into manageable sets and steps, and various levels of prompting and reinforcement is all based on the individual needs of the participants. This is how the students make observable and measurable gains with their skills. 

If you are interested in learning more about our school or clinic, we’d love to hear from you. Call 518-280-0083 today!


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Crossroads is located at 1136 North Westcott Road in Rotterdam.

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