Science Behind AIM
Why does AIM work?
Practiced for over two thousand years by various Eastern cultures, mindfulness has been studied by Western scientists for the last several decades, revealing benefits for many psychological and physical conditions including anxiety, chronic pain, depression, immune system functioning, self regulation, and more. Research with children has shown greater attention and focus, empathy and compassion, self-control, and increased attendance and grades.
ACCEPTANCE AND commitment therapy
A form of clinical behavior analysis rooted in Relational Frame Theory, ACT seeks to help individuals learn to accept physical and psychological experiences in order to participate more fully in the meaningful parts of life. Hundreds of peer-reviewed articles have explored the benefits of ACT for individuals with various psychological and physical disorders. ACT has been applied in a large number of formats from therapy and preventative interventions to self-help books and online programs.
applied behavior analysis
ABA is the use of a science of human behavior to create socially-significant behavior changes. ABA emphasizes the relationship between the environment and individuals' behavior, and assesses the function of behavior in order to develop effective interventions. Decades of research support the use of functional behavior assessment and behavior analytic intervention for many populations, including children with and without disabilities in therapeutic and school settings.
the dynamic context:
Integrating Mindfulness, ACT, and ABA
AIM seeks to change the context in which a behavior occurs, the child's relationship to thoughts and feelings about events (what they think or what others say), and to reinforce a set of flexible, adaptive behaviors that lead to preferred outcomes. In order to do so, the child learns to identify when his or her thoughts and feelings are preventing him or her from accessing meaningful outcomes and to make choices that increase access to those outcomes even when they are delayed.
AIM synthesizes the development of mindful practice, therapeutic reconditioning, and functional behavior management by infusing ACT and mindful awareness into each part of the behavioral event:
AIM focuses on observable, measurable behavior and emphasizes specific training and instructional approaches that increase the frequency of adaptive, flexible behavior. AIM's ACT-based curriculum features several key characteristics: