My name is Elena Burch, M.Ed, BCBA, and I’m a consultant for DrOmnibus, who created the ABA DrOmnibus App for Autism Therapy. This App has 7000 tasks that teach children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to distinguish emotions, learn colors, shapes, numbers, animals and much more, based on researched Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques, and designed to increase significant skills in language, attention, and comprehension.
The ABA DrOmnibus App has many features that are evidence-based and rooted in core principles of ABA. The prompting design is sophisticated and mimics the cues that Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) would give to children in therapeutic live sessions. When a child gets an incorrect answer more than twice, the prompt will immediately go to only correct answers (errorless learning). This type of prompt reduces stress for the learners so they can attend to the relevant stimuli productively. The field of responses is reduced to only one choice, and the placements are varied on the screen. The students then practice this one correct response ten times, while earning colorful tokens and enjoying celebratory sounds for each perfect answer.
Why is this important?
The ABA principles of errorless learning and gaining access to the reinforcer are imbedded in the ABA DrOmnibus App. Moreover, this prompting feature helps facilitate scanning skills (oftentimes a large deficit with ASD children). All of this is achieved in a playful manner using the App.
The vital component of wait time in ABA is skillfully implemented in the ABA DrOmnibus App. The necessity for our clients to have processing time whether we are asking for a verbal answer or a physical task is summed up in the following quote by Beverly Vicker, CCC-SLP:
“Sometimes it is helpful to think of a student with auditory processing challenges like a computer – when it is processing, hitting the command again does not make it go any faster, but rather sends it back to the beginning to start the process all over again!”
The ABA DrOmnibus App gives a full five seconds for the child to make a choice. If no response is given, a second verbal Discriminative Stimulus (SD) is given. If there is still no response, a hand points to the correct item with no verbal cues. The program automatically stores this information in the results of the testing, and adjusts the level of the questions to allow for errorless learning. These are essential features in any ABA therapeutic environment.
Token reward system
As a BCBA supervisor of many technicians, I find correctly teaching employees to deliver tokens and rewards is one of the most challenging aspects of their training. Very often in therapy settings tokens are given in a delayed manner or for responses that are not clean. The ABA DrOmnibus App is able to consistently deliver tokens immediately for correct responses. The students earn tokens that are visually appealing and clearly displayed so that the children understand how many more tokens they need to earn a cash in game. The games are fun and last about a minute before the next learning session begins–well timed for most ASD children.
It is impossible to be in the ABA field and not love data! Reports drive everything we do by giving us clues, telling us what is working, and what could use improvement. In a typical live session with a client, BCBAs have all come up with our own tricks on how to collect data quickly and accurately. Often times it feels like a juggling act of presenting SDs, maintaining eye contact with the client, and fumbling with data sheets. All the while I or the technicians are sitting at a child’s desk, and trying not to let our knees knock everything over. Talk about multi-tasking!
ABA DrOmnibus App gathers the data and adjusts the lessons automatically. No more fumbling with data sheets. At the end of the lesson I just go to the reports section, and see the results of the lesson. This saves BCBAs and technicians valuable time to analyze the data, and make individualized plans for different learning sessions that are not App based. In the reports, I’m able to see successful acquisitions, then start generalizing these new skills for different learning environments.
Here is how I successfully implemented a learning procedure with a fourteen-year-old girl using ABA DrOmnibus App’s series, Emotions Basic Learning and Emotions Improvement in the Social category. This lesson is aimed for ASD children who have a particularly difficult time recognizing and responding to emotions in people’s facial expressions. Recognizing emotions is a common issue for ASD children. In this App, photos of various expressions are tagged with the label using the prompting and wait time described above.
This girl has the developmental abilities of a seven-year-old. She has a diagnosis of Microencephalitis, as well as numerous other developmental delays. Through five years of intensive ABA treatment, she has made great strides with her self-regulation, and she rarely has aggressive outbursts. I decided to test the Emotion section of the App because she often times has problems distinguishing other’s expressions when out on errands.
For instance, at a grocery store she will go up to a stranger and attempt to engage in inappropriate conversations while the shopper is engrossed with their shopping list. She has been taught to only say pleasantries to strangers, however, she hasn’t been able to read the cues of waiting for eye contact and looking at their facial expressions for appropriate interactions.
Using the ABA DrOmnibus App, I initiated the Emotions lessons with the girl. When she made an error, not identifying the correct emotion with the photographed facial expression of the actor, the App repeated the correct facial expression ten times reinforcing the learning experience. This repetition and prompting gave her an opportunity to confirm and have a correct answer. The five second wait time was ideal for this child, giving her enough time without pressure to make a right choice. After the first error correction, she was able to complete the lesson in a short time period without errors. The tokens added up quickly, and the rewards offered after each completed session were enjoyable, especially since there was an ice cream theme which she loved!
After the lesson using the App, I wanted to implement more generalization. I pre-taught going to the grocery store with a social story. We practiced wait and look at people’s faces, and made up scenarios about who she could and could not talk to. We also rehearsed appropriate things to say like, “Hi!” or “It’s really hot today.” With some physical and verbal prompting, she was able to have zero incidences of inappropriate talk with strangers in this exercise. We will practice a few more times using the App and social stories, then fade the prompts until they are no longer needed. She can also start using this learning to recognize and respond to emotions in people’s facial expressions with her closer network of people, especially with family, friends and classmates.
I’m looking forward to her mastering wait and look at people’s faces in public situations. This will expand her world, making it much safer for her, and give her more freedom in her life.
Applying the ABA DrOmnibus App in ABA Therapy
The ABA DrOmnibus App is suitable for Early Learning Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and can easily adapt from school to home. The App is like having an extra teaching assistant in the classroom or at home. It’s an affordable and practical instructional program that teaches children with autism, speech and language disorders and other developmental delays a wide range of skills. The review reports aid therapists, teachers and parents assessing the children’s skills and developments in order to introduce more generalized learning and applications.
Go here to experience the ABA DrOmnibus App and apply ABA principles in an easy to use App.
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