Behavior Therapy

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The Scottsdale Pediatric Behavioral Services team of BCBAs, including two doctoral level providers, serves children and families throughout Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Chandler, and North Phoenix. Our practice uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and we implement evidence-based procedures to address behaviors that occur too frequently (behavioral excesses) and behaviors that do not occur frequently enough (behavior deficits). Most of our patients are between 2 and 6 years of age, but our team of BCBAs has experience working with patients of all ages and with a variety of diagnoses.

Holistic Approach

Well-known for our holistic, comprehensive approach, our team approaches the children we treat as the complex beings they are, helping them to increase their skills as they decrease their problematic behaviors. Our young patients flourish as they become more adept at maneuvering through relationships with family, friends, neighbors, teachers, and other caregivers.

From Scottsdale Pediatric Behavioral Services, our team is able to visit children at a wide variety of sites to both observe, and assist in modifying, their behavior. We offer services to children in family settings, schools, hospitals, mental healthcare agencies, and local community centers.

By interacting with and observing the child, hopefully in more than one of these settings, and by administering some analytical tests (which will seem playful and enjoyable to the young patient), the doctors will be able to assess the type of behavioral disorder and make recommendations to help both the child and the parents cope with the problem. By training the child to recognize his or her own “triggers” and to alter behavior patterns, and, even more importantly, by training the parents to react in more helpful ways, the doctors will put the whole family on a path towards healthier interaction.

ABA Techniques

In order for the scientific techniques of Applied Behavior Analysis to work, consistency is necessary. This is why it’s important that our team not only uses rewards (reinforcers) to encourage positive behavior patterns in children who are having trouble, but works with parents and other caregivers to make sure that everyone is on the same page in terms of appropriate responses to negative behaviors.

In working with children with behavioral issues, it is important for professionals and parents to be on the same page. Consistency is extremely important. This is why parents should choose a therapist who is accessible and agreeable to them as well as to their child. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques used by the professional can also be used by the parents to supplement and continue treatment on the home front.

Types of ABA

There are many different types of ABA that may be used separately or, more often, in combination, depending on the age of the child and his or her diagnosis.

Discrete Trial Training (DDT) – a type of teaching that breaks down lessons into their simplest parts, positively reinforcing correct answers and behaviors and ignoring incorrect answers or misbehaviors.

Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) – intensive intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) used when the children are very young, typically under the age of 5, or even under the age of 3.

Pivotal Response Training (PRT) – designed to increase the child’s motivation to learn, to alter his or her own behavior, and to initiate communication with others

Verbal Behavior Intervention (ABA/VB) –  behavioral therapy that focuses on verbal skills.

Conditions Treated by Scottsdale Pediatric Behavioral Services

While autism has become a much more common diagnosis in recent years, with a broad spectrum of disorders coming under its banner, it is only one area of behavioral conditions treated by our team. Scottsdale Pediatric Behavioral Services deals with any of the following problems:

  • Elopement
  • Inappropriate touching
  • Motor/vocal repetitive behaviors (stereotypy)
  • Noncompliance and/or defiance
  • Pica (eating of non-nutritive substances)
  • Property destruction
  • Restrictive eating habits
  • Ritualistic or OCD behaviors
  • Self-injurious behavior
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tantrums or meltdowns
  • Verbal and physical aggression

It is not uncommon for one child to suffer from many of these symptoms. Also, young children with these symptoms may be delayed in other areas of development, either because they have other deficiencies linked genetically to these problems, or because their behavioral problems interfere with their learning of age-appropriate skills. They may, therefore be slower than average to learn:

  • Academic skills
  • Adaptive skills
  • Hygiene and self-care
  • Language skills
  • Play skills
  • Reading readiness
  • Toilet-training

What makes our doctor’s treatment unique?

Many people have read, or even experienced, so-called behavioral treatment that seemed restrictive, boring, non-productive, or even punitive. This will not be the case at Scottsdale Pediatric Behavioral Services. Our team’s approach to therapy is interactive and fast-paced, tapping into the child’s natural interests. The therapeutic treatment itself is enjoyable. Not only that, but, as dysfunctional behavior patterns are changed, the positive feedback received is a powerful force motivating both child and parent to continue following the path the clinicians at Scottsdale PBS has laid out for them, the path toward comfort and health.