Faculty of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health professions

Department of Audiology and Speech Therapy.

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Rehabilitation of
clients with special needs

SPAU 433



Comparison between DIR and ABA


Thair Odeh


Made by

Anwar Jolany 1142344



Date: January 19,2018



For Autism
Spectrum Disorders(ASD) children an early treatment is important for them as well
as the early diagnosis. The behavioral approaches are used to treat children
with ASD, the approaches include different programs such as the
Developmental-Individual Difference-Relationship Based Model(DIR) and the
Applied Behavior Analysis(ABA).

The DIR model
is a treatment approach that focuses on learning the communication skills which
is needed to the social interaction with other people. Also, is focused on the
“Opening and closing circles” which the child use in his context to direct
play. The participation between the family and the educational team is important
to increase these circles. The development of appropriate play and interaction
are shaped by the adults. The DIR model is useful to build shared attention
that leads to engagement and to practice on communication and problem solving. A
part of the DIR is the Floortime model which encourage the ASD child to
interact with parents and other through play activities on the floor in a
natural sitting (home, play session, playground). It’s focuses on multi goals
which are: following the child lead, challenging him to be more creative and
spontaneous; and also involving his senses, motor skills, and emotions.
Intensive DIR/Floortime programs up to be over 25 hours per week.

The ABA approach
is used to help the child to build a variety of skills (social skills,
communication, self-monitoring and control) as well as help him to generalize
these skills into other situations. It focuses on the theory of behavior which
says that behaviors can be learned and taught through a system of rewards and
consequences. Analyze the behavior using the ABC model (A is state for
antecedent, B for Behavior; and C for consequence) is the first step in the
ABA. Strategies of ABA help to reduce problematic repertoires and build
socially useful ones. The strategies include task analysis, chaining,
prompting, fading, shaping, differential reinforcement, generalization, video
modeling, discrete trial training (DTT), and natural environment training
(NET). ABA techniques can be used in both structured (classroom) and everyday
(family dinnertime) settings and in one-on-one or group instruction. ABA
techniques are used in intensive, early intervention (below the age of 4 years)
programs. Intensive programs of ABA total from 25 to 40 hours per week for 1-3

The DIR and
ABA share three main similarities which are the involvement of parents,
intensive planning, and progressive steps toward a goal.

First, the
involvement of parents in therapy. In Floortime, parents are a large part of
therapy. The parents work with the therapist to create goals and engage their
child in both therapy sessions and in everyday environments. In ABA parents are
involved in planning programs and the setting of goals, as well as regular
meetings to see their child’s progress.

 Second, the intensive planning. Both programs
require intense amounts of time, Floortime includes intentional time with the
parent throughout the day plus sessions with a therapist, are up to be over 25
hours per week. ABA often has more than 25 hours per a week of therapy with the
therapist directly.

 Finally, The progressive steps toward a goal.
Both the ABA and Floortime require a progression of levels in order to reach a
goal. Floortime gathering the child’s attention and focus so that child can be
ready to learn, while the ABA teaches “how to learn” behaviors.

Also, DIR
and ABA have multiple differences such as how the child’s mood affects his
level of attention and the role of relationships in therapy, how the child processes and learns, how the child
views the world and shares his ideas, and how well emotion is regulated
throughout the programming.

First, how
the child’s mood affects his level of attention and the role of relationships
in therapy. Parents play a major role in Floortime. The relationship with the
parent is supportive and loving, that brings emotions to the front of Floortime
therapy, furthering communication, attention, and engagement. Every behavior is
important and is analyzed to understand what the ASD child is trying to
communicate. Although in the ABA the parents are involved, parents do not
necessarily play a role in implementing therapy, but rather reinforce the ABA
techniques across settings.

Second, how
the child processes and learns. The DIR focuses on the unique “sensory motor
profile” each child had, that explains the child’s behaviors and directs the
future of treatments. However, the ABA considers these behaviors and individual
differences to be antecedent or consequence of other behaviors.

Third, How
the child views the world and shares his ideas. In Floortime, the child uses
self-directed play to represent his internal representations of the world and
his ideas. However, the ABA teaches the ASD child how to play, that is believed
to allow future development and growth in their processes and expressions of
internal ideas.

Finally, how
emotion is regulated. In Floortime, parents demonstrate and provide emotions to
their child, including support and love. When the ASD child reacts with any
kind of emotion (anger, fear, joy, etc.), therapists and parents attempt to
find what caused that reaction. However, with ABA, moods and emotions are
considered behaviors that can be changed and measured through reinforcements. Desired
behaviors are rewarded with a positive reinforcement, but the root of behaviors
is not considered.