When parents find out that their child has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, it can lead to all sorts of questions. One of the most common is “what do we do now?” and the best answer to that question is applied behavior analysis, which is also called ABA. This is a type of therapy for autistic individuals that has shown great promise over many years.
What ABA is All About
ABA is a specific practice that systematically applies a set of learning theories based on psychological principles to change the behavior of animals or people. It is a scientifically verified type of therapy that is used in everything from business management to animal training, healthcare, and education. One of the most prominent uses of applied behavior analysis is in treating autism spectrum disorder.
This therapy is one of the very few scientifically proven treatments for those who have autism.
How ABA Works
ABA therapy is backed by many proven theories about behavior and learning, so it takes a researched approach to changing behavior. The therapists who provide applied behavior analysis have a deep understanding of how behaviors are taught and change as time goes one. The therapist assesses the behavior of a client to create a treatment plan that improves the behavior and communication skills needed in both professional and personal life.
In addition, these therapists can offer training to teachers and parents. To get the best results, ABA entails continuous evaluation and a substantial level of monitoring. The health professionals and therapists who offer it work in all sorts of settings, including homes, schools, and community centers. They modify and evaluate treatment as it happens.
What to Expect During ABA Therapy
Once you’re working with an applied behavior analysis therapist for your child, the following things will occur.
- The behaviors that need to be changed will be determined.
- Expected outcomes and goals will be outlined and set.
- Ways to measure improvements and changes will be established.
- An evaluation will be done about where the client is now.
- New skills will be learned, as well as how to prevent negative behavior.
- Progress will continuously be reviewed.
- Decisions will be made about whether more behavior modification is needed.
What The Best ABA Program Involves
While certain things are included in all programs for ABA, it isn’t a set program where each child is taught the same things. A good ABA program should be designed to fit the needs of an individual, rather than being the same for each child who has been diagnosed with autism.
The point behind ABA programs is to help children (and sometimes adults) work on the skills that will make them more successful and independent both now and in the future. Goals can be based in all sorts of skill areas, including social skills, communication and language, self-care, learning and academic skills, and play and leisure.
Why Make ABA Part of the Solution
There are dozens of studies that show ABA helps children with autism progress in a positive way. Also, this therapy has been showing great results for more than 60 years. Children who work with someone through ABA therapy have a much higher chance of moving into a general classroom after intensive therapy. All these reasons, and more, are why you should consider ABA for your child with autism.