First of all, developmental individual differencesrelationship (DIR) and applied behavior analysis (ABA) working with youngchildren with autism and related disorders, and may seem very similar. Butthere is an overlap in some parts of therapy; they work as a complement to oneanother.
DRI focuses on relational, social, emotional, and cognitivedevelopment through play, and ABA modified behaviors through the use ofrewards.v ABA: Is anapproach that focuses on how one’s behaviors and attitudes are affected bychanges in his environment. Its main principle said that when a behavior isrewarded by some sort of reinforcement, the behavior is more likely to berepeated. It uses a teaching technique depending on using continuous trialswhere the stimulus is presented to the child (like “do this” or “touch object”or “look at me”). Correct behaviors and actions are emphasized with lots ofpositive reinforcement. When incorrect responses happen, they are ignored andcorrect responses are rewarded and prompted.
Undesirable behaviors are treatedin the same way. In the beginning, the child may be reinforced for doingsomething close to the correct response. By the time, when the child learns theappropriate response, expectations are increased and reinforcements are changed. ABA treatment can aid children with autismmake meaningful changes in many aspects in both structured and unstructuredsituations. But, changes do not typically occur quickly. Moreover, mostpatients need ongoing and intensive instruction that help their step-by-stepprogress.
The rate of progress differs dependently from one to one consideringthe age, level of skills, family requirement and effective roles and otherfactors. It has been known to emphasize skills such as reading,verbal communication, listening, self-care, and understanding the perspectivesof others.v DRI: Is an approachprovides a developmental principles to intervention for children with specialneeds in relationship with their parents. The therapy is naturalistic, childled, play based, and adult-facilitated.
Children with special needs haveneurobiological factors, which make it difficult to develop and participate inearly emotional interactions with their parents. These enjoy full interactionsbetween parent and child that are pleasurable, meaningful, and positive are theprimary necessary for all developmental aspects. DIR helps parents in theirnatural and normal relationship with their child enhancing their developmentacross aspects, including joint attention, ideation and execution,communication and language, cognition, regulation, social problem solving andmotor skills. Floortime isone of DRI models that used by adults to assist a child’s communication skillsby meeting the child’s developmental level.
Parents are instructed to play onthe floor with their child, using social interactions to bring their child’sattention and creativity, and making activities that the child enjoys with,which supports the child’s developmental progress. Ø Similarities:As we mentionedbefore, DRI and ABA working as complement to one another, so they frequentlyare utilized. There are three major similarities: the intensive planning, involvement ofparents, and progressive steps toward a goal. Intensive planning:Both modelsneed intensive amounts of time. DRI includes sessions with a therapist inaddition to time needed for the parent during the day, which added to over 25hours per week.
Also ABA required more than 25 hours per week of interventiondirectly with the therapist. Parental Involvement:In DRI a largepart of therapy is parent. They engage their child in both naturalisticeveryday environments and in therapy sessions, and engage with the therapist tocreate goals.
In ABA, Parents are engaged in the setting of planning programs andgoals, in addition to regular meetings to retest their child’s progress. Progressive steps toward a goal. In order to reach a goal a progression of levels is required in both DRIand ABA.
DRI begins with working on the child’s attention and focus so that hecan be ready to learn. But ABA begins with modification of behaviors and workson how to learn behaviors.Ø Differences:However, thereare several differences between the two models of interventions, such as: howthe mood of child influences his level of attention, the role of relationshipsin therapy, how the child learns and processes, how the child represents theworld and expresses his ideas, and how emotion is regulated by the programming. How the mood of child influences his level of attention and the role of relationships in therapy:In DRI parentsplay a central role. The relationship with child and parent is supportive andloving, which create emotions to the front of DRI intervention, moreoverengagement, communication, and attention. Every behavior is important toanalyze to understand if the child is trying to communicate.
Although in ABA,parents are not necessarily play a role in implementing intervention, but theyenhance the techniques across settings. How the child learns and processes: DRI works as the child has a unique profile of sensory motor, whichexplains the child’s actions and directs progress of treatments. ABA focuses onthese individual behaviors and difference to be either a consequence orantecedent of other behaviors. How the child represents the world and expresses his ideas:In DRI thechild uses self-directed play to represent his own views of the world and hisideas. Although in ABA helps in the growth and development child’s expressionsof internal ideas and processes by teaching him how to play. How emotion is regulated:In DRI parents demonstrateemotions to their child, including support and love.
Parents and therapists tryto find causes of the child reactions when he reacts with any kind of emotion(joy, fear, anger, etc.). But in ABA, moods and emotions are considered asbehaviors that can be measured and modified through rewards. The cause ofbehaviors is not considered here, but desired behaviors are reinforced with apositive reward.v ConclusionIn spite ofdifferences, both DRI and ABA are valuable treatments and each brings uniquemodel to intervention.
In many cases, I order to offer a greater benefit to thechild utilizing both together is required, where one lacks, the other provides.