Difference Between ABA and IBI (With Table)

ABA and IBI are two terms that are used very commonly when it comes to autism treatment. Even though IBI is heavily based on ABA, they both have quite a few distinguishable features. Understanding the differences between them may be helpful for choosing the right kind of therapy that the diagnosed person needs.

ABA vs IBI

The difference between ABA and IBI is that ABA is a method of educating autistic patients and is carried out by educators and teachers whereas IBI is a specific therapy that is carried out by therapists and psychologists. Regardless, the principles and techniques used in ABA are often the basis of IBI.

ABA stands for Applied Behavioral Analysis. It is a process of using interventions based on the principles of learning theory, to improve the social behaviour of autistic people. This can be done in groups as well as in one-on-one sessions between the teacher and patient. It generally takes up around 20 hours of time per week.

IBI stands for Intensive Behavioral Intervention. Unlike ABA, IBI is a more intensive process that can be looked at as a therapy. Therefore, it is conducted by trained therapists and psychologists. Its aim is to help people with autism to catch up with their peers, in terms of development. The sessions are conducted in small groups or individually and it takes up between 20 to 40 hours of time per week.

Comparison Table Between ABA and IBI

Parameters of ComparisonABAIBI
Full-FormABA stands for Applied Behavioral Analysis.IBI stands for Intensive Behavioral Intervention.
MeaningABA is a method of educating autistic patients.IBI is a specific therapy for autistic patients.
AimThe aim of ABA is to improve the social behaviour of autistic people.The aim of IBI is to help people with autism to catch up with their peers, in terms of development.
SessionsABA sessions can be carried out individually or in classrooms.IBI sessions are carried out individually or in small groups.
DurationThey are carried out for about 20 hours per week.They are carried out for between 20 to 40 hours per week.
SupervisorThe sessions are conducted by educators and teachers.The sessions are conducted by therapists and psychologists.

What is ABA?

ABA is often called behavioural engineering. It is a method of using scientific approaches to teach social behaviours to autistic children. These approaches are based on the respondent and operant conditioning. Firstly, the relationship of the patient’s behaviour with his current environment is assessed. Then, new alternatives for aberrant behaviours are procured.

These sessions are carried out by teachers and educators who are specifically trained for this purpose. The teachings may be carried out in classrooms with a large group of patients. However, many people choose to have one-on-one classes, where the teacher works with the patient individually. Regardless, both approaches have proved to be meaningful to a certain degree.

The main aim of ABA is to teach adaptive behaviours as well as diminish behaviours linked to autism. This has often been controversial as many people look at it as a ‘therapy for autism’. Many people claim that it forces patients to mask their true inherent personalities based on a narrow concept of what normal behaviour should be. Instead, social awareness regarding the acceptance of autistic behaviours must be advocated for.

The goal of such teachings must be to help autistic people lead a happy, healthy, and self-determined life. However, ABA states that they work toward making autistic children indistinguishable from their peers.

What is IBI?

IBI is a treatment program for Autism patients which is heavily based on ABA. However, unlike the former, it is more intensive and rigorous. It can thus be looked at as a therapy session rather than a teaching session. The goal of such a program is to help patients improve their overall functioning and development track.

The sessions are carried out by trained therapists and psychologists. They may work with the patients individually or in small groups. Domains such as communication, pre-academics, social skills, and adaptive skills are given major importance. The sessions are conducted for 20 to 40 hours per week and are supervised by a senior therapist.

The involvement of the patient’s family in IBI programs is crucial. IBI not only aims at improving the lives of the patients, but also training the parents or guardians to support their children throughout the process, and even after it.

In the initial stages, the patient’s strengths and needs are assessed, on the basis of which a comprehensive individual plan is curated for them. This is called an Individual Service Plan. It outlines the specific treatment goals of each patient and which approaches must be used for achieving them. Further, the progress of each patient is monitored and assessed every 6 months.

Main Differences Between ABA and IBI

  1. ABA stands for Applied Behavioral Analysis whereas IBI stands for Intensive Behavioral Intervention.
  2. ABA is a method of educating autistic patients whereas IBI is a specific therapy for autistic patients.
  3. The aim of ABA is to improve the social behaviour of autistic people whereas that if IBI is to help people with autism to catch up with their peers, in terms of development.
  4. ABA sessions can be carried out individually or in classrooms whereas IBI sessions are carried out individually or in small groups.
  5. ABA is conducted for around 20 hours per week whereas IBI is conducted for about 20 to 40 hours per week.
  6. ABA sessions are conducted by teachers whereas IBI sessions are conducted by therapists and psychologists.

Conclusion

ABA and IBI are two programs that have several differences between them, even though ABA is a basis for IBI treatment. A major distinguishing factor is that ABA is more of an education program whereas IBI is a specific therapy. Moreover, ABA is conductor by teachers and educators while IBI is conducted by therapists and psychologists.

There are quite a few controversies surrounding the aim of ABA. The program aims at improving the social behaviour of autistic patients and making them ‘indistinguishable from their peers’. Meanwhile, IBI aims at the overall improvement and development in the quality of life of an autistic patient.

References

  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1998-08048-000
  2. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ812650

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