Applied Behavioral Analysis Reimagined
Making the tools of learning accessible to everyone
What is Autastic?
Autastic Education is a supplementary behavioral therapy software that aims to help close the gap in needed therapy for children with autism. By placing therapy lessons in a software platform, we can provide access to therapy lessons to children all over the world. We provide an individual custom curriculum for autistic and special needs children, that provides them with the skills they need to get a head start in life. Our software is fun, engaging, and uses lessons that are actively practiced in the clinic. Access to this kind of education helps children develop reasoning skills, language fluency, as well as improved memory and attention. We give exceptional children the tools they need to tackle life for themselves.
Autastic and ABA Therapy
What is behavioral therapy?
Behaviorism uses task analysis to break tasks that tend to be difficult for people with autism into small parts. Behavioral therapy then has the client practice just one part, many times in a row. The therapist encourages play as a reward for practicing these difficult tasks.
Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy (ABA)
ABA therapy, the most popular form of therapy for children with autism, takes another leap. The next step is to begin analyzing the rate of progress of the individual client. The therapist uses an algorithm that only allows the client to work on more difficult iterations if, and only if, they demonstrate a tendency to get the answers correct at least 80% of the time, usually several times in a row, and between multiple therapists.
Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention
EIBI, is the most evidence-based use of ABA. It's efficacy rests on the fact that children have a tremendous amount of neuroplasticity. EIBI advocates for children at seven years or younger to receive 25 - 40 hours of therapy a week for at least three years. To outsiders, this sounds like too much, but then again how many hours a week were you in school. EIBI includes one on one attention, play, and is much more involved than traditional education. Unfortunately, that therapy is costly and the costs prevent access to therapy for a huge amount of children. In Europe for instance, some studies point out that only 30 percent of people with autism receive therapy at all, and for children who receive therapy, it averages less than 9 hours a week.
Why are we special?
Treatment is expensive, but Autastic Education can get children the therapeutic access they need, at the age they need it. We keep tasks as simple as is necessary, moving them on to more complex iterations once they demonstrate understanding. This is one of many features that enable Autastic Education to be effective.
What if a child begins performing above average? Wouldn't the lengthy ABA style, requiring dozens of iterations, become boring.
Yes! It absolutely would. In the clinic, many children will be very good at some tasks, and when they need to do a task that they are familiar with, it is very common for children to get bored. In-person, a good therapist will notice this. The therapist might, offer a preference assessment to see if there is some new game that will keep the child motivated, they might change the presentation of the task, or they might recognize the child has mastered the task and move the child on to a more functional curriculum with the advice of a BCBA.
Autastic uses those same tactics to avoid boredom and to maximize user learning. First, we offer preference assessments consistently from a variety of games. The child selects their own reward from a limited and consistently changing set of reinforcing games. It's a lot of reinforcement and that is very necessary for effective learning. Secondly, our app will keep the presentation of lessons varied. This both shirks boredom, but also helps learning move from the games to the real world, a process we call generalization. Our app, more than any on the market, aims to ensure generalization. Lastly, our app keeps track the childs data, and moves them on based on their individual progress. For high IQ children who are simply young, and for kids who are eidetic, or who have savantism, our app can still maintain a high degree of efficacy by preventing itself from becoming boring.
What if a child is physically or neurologically incapable of one or more of the lessons.
This happens all the time in the clinic. A child is physically unable to say something, unable to move a certain way, unable to process certain kinds of information. There is an endless sea of factors that might make a task impossible for kids on the spectrum. A good therapist, will notice this and move onto other tasks that are a better use of the child's time. Our software does the same thing. Our app can track user ability and adjusts its curriculum accordingly so that children won't keep practicing lessons that aren't helping them. These features amongst others allow our app to stand alone without parental proctoring, while maintaining it's evidence-based integrity.
If my kid learns a skill within the app, how do I know that knowledge translates to the real world.
First, there are no guarantees that any knowledge will generalize, or translate to the real world. This is true in the clinic, and it maintains true within our app. There are, however, many techniques that can encourage this kind of real-world knowledge transition. By changing the presentation of lessons and games, and increasing complexity based on progress, we help ensure generalization. All of these techniques and more are best practice for a supplemental behavioral therapy app.
Autastic believes all lessons will be most effective if also practiced in real life, by the varying caretakers, or by an ABA practitioner. Caretakers also spend, naturally, the most time with these children, so if parents can practice real-world versions of our lessons that's obviously the best situation for children on the spectrum.