One of the most important aspects of childhood is play! Children learn many developmental skills through playing and learn social skills through interactions with others during play. There are several evidence-based interventions in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy that are utilized during child-led, naturalistic play-based interactions such as pivotal response training (PRT) and naturalistic intervention (NI). not only are these interventions used to teach age-appropriate play and leisure skills, but also to embed learning opportunities for communication, social skills, imitation, and joint attention. At JoyBridge Kids, our Early Excellence program utilizes these play-based interventions to teach our youngest learners foundational skills of childhood. They have daily opportunities to generalize their play and social skills with peers during small group times such as circle time, snack and lunch, gym play, and art/sensory group.
Social Skills are especially important for our school-aged learners who are learning how to navigate relationships and friendships with peers. ABA utilizes specific interventions, such as Behavioral Skills Training (BST) and Cognitive Behavior Intervention (CBI), to teach children how to identify and cope with their emotions and the emotions of others, express and respond to anger appropriately, teach self-management strategies for their own behavior, understand nonverbal social cues of peers, teach self-advocacy, and teach social skills that are foundational for developing true friendships. At JoyBridge Kids, staff of our After School Program implement evidence-based interventions during one-on-one instruction to teach foundational social skills, and then support learners in generalizing these skills during Social Skills Groups and structured, age-appropriate leisure time (i.e. table games, gym time, etc.) with peers.