The definition of rigid refers to this inability to change or adapt. Most often, the word rigid is a "negative" characteristic or term. In reference to an ABA program, I'd absolutely agree that rigid programs and models lead to learner failure and I'll share why in this post.
I remember years ago, I received a video clip which had a session between a Behavior Technician, a BCBA, and a learner (I was a Stakeholder which was why I was sent a copy of the clip). I was disappointed in what I had observed in viewing this clip on my iMac. Essentially, the ABA provider had been serving this learner for a number of years and I'd been tracking progress over a single year. The issue was this: a young woman with special needs, sitting at a table (a table that looked like it was adjusted low for a preschooler by the way), doing activities like matching cards and engaging with materials that were designed for learners between the ages of 2 and 3. Why did they decide to do these things and use these materials despite the inappropriateness of doing so? It comes down to their rigidity. They were known as a provider that did a lot of table top activity. That might be appropriate in certain situations yet not all. Think of all the meaningful things this young woman could have been doing.
Certain providers have a way of conducting business that's not conducive to learner progress, especially if the learner does not fit the model that the provider rigidly maintains. Note, there's a difference between conviction and rigidity. We at Cultivate have convictions as to how an ABA program should unfold, yet we're not so rigid to think that every learner will learn when we're using uniform tactics and strategies for everyone regardless of their needs and learning preferences. It's foolish to believe that all learners will fit into my way of doing things, instead of expecting to adapt and change on their behalf. Unfortunately, provider rigidity can lead to months or even years of stagnant programming that is not meaningful, helpful, or appropriate.
This is why I love the brand of ABA that we offer at Cultivate. This is why our learners have flourished under our programming. This is why we love what we do. Give us a call to learn more especially if you're considering a change to a provider that's fully dedicated to you, your goals and concerns for your child, and a refreshingly tailored approach to the learning style that your child has.