If you’re the parent, teacher, or therapist of a young child with Down syndrome, you should know that Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the evidence-based, gold-standard method for teaching children with autism, is an equally effective strategy for teaching children with Down syndrome! In Off to a Good Start: A Behaviorally Based Model for Teaching Children with Down Syndrome, a two-book set, the authors share the compelling research about the benefits of using ABA methods with children with Down syndrome, describe ABA principles and procedures, and provide the ABA-based curriculum they’ve used for nearly 20 years to successfully teach infants through kindergarteners with Down syndrome. With these books, readers will learn ABA practices for teaching children the all-important foundational skills in motor, social-communication, cognitive, and self-care development.
Book 1: Foundations for Learning is the starting point for parents and professionals with little or no knowledge of ABA. It covers:
- an overview of ABA and how to apply its principles and strategies to teach skills
- background information on the characteristic learning profile of children with Down syndrome and how strengths (such as visual learning abilities and the desire to interact with others) can be used to overcome weaknesses
- the importance of inclusion and high expectations
- how to choose target skills to teach and set up learning opportunities
- using prompts and reinforcement to shape desired behavior and skills
- the importance of generalizing skills learned in one setting to another
- how to minimize behavior which interferes with learning
- tracking and evaluating progress
- how to build a team of caregivers and professionals to teach using ABA
Check out Book 2: Teaching Programs to learn how to teach hundreds of essential skills and address challenging behaviors.
Written by Emily A. Jones, Ph.D., BCBA-D & Kathleen M. Feeley, Ph.D.
Emily A. Jones, Licensed Behavior Analyst, New York, is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York. In Dr. Jones’ research she examines interventions to improve outcomes for children with developmental disabilities and their families.
Kathleen M. Feeley is Professor in the College of Education, Information, and Technology and the founding Director of the Center for Community Inclusion at Long Island University. Dr. Feeley has dedicated her career to examining interventions that enable children with disabilities to be successful alongside their typical peers.