Finding the right therapist and services for your child can be challenging. ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) is a unique form of therapy that helps children develop new skills and improve their communication. This modality is helpful for kids with various conditions such as autism spectrum disorder and reactive attachment disorder.
ABA can be done at home or in a center. When it’s done in a family-focused manner, it can provide the parents and caregivers with training and insight into how their child interacts with their surroundings.
What is ABA Therapy?
ABA therapy is one of the most common types of therapy for children with special needs. It is safe and effective, and it helps kids develop new skills such as communication and social skills.
Benefits of ABA Therapy
1. Improve Social Skills
Many children with autism do not have the social skills to make friends or interact with others. Through ABA therapy, they can learn how to respond to social cues and engage in appropriate eye contact. With the help of ABA therapy, kids with ASD can develop new skills that will allow them to enjoy their childhood. While it may not help them become as skilled at communicating as their higher-functioning peers, it can improve their social interaction.
2. Promotes Better Parenting
Being able to understand the behaviors and traits of your child with special needs is important to improve their quality of life. With the help of ABA therapy, the therapist can create a customized treatment plan that fits your child’s unique needs. Being involved in the development of the program can be empowering for you and your child.
3. Teaches Independent Living Skills
Developing essential life skills is essential for kids with special needs. This can be done through the help of ABA therapy, which involves collecting data and developing strategies to encourage certain behaviors. This can help children become more independent and follow instructions.
4. Increases Life Satisfaction
A well-designed curriculum can help improve the various abilities and behaviors of your child with special needs. These changes can help rid the low expectations that people have about your children, such as teachers and other professionals. Through the use of ABA therapy, you can set the bar high for your child and realize their true potential.
How Does the Therapy Work?
Before starting therapy, an ABA therapist usually starts by identifying the current behaviors of their patient. This process then involves developing treatment goals. Although therapy sessions are usually conducted face-to-face, telehealth has been a favorable option due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since most of the time, ABA therapists rely on observing behavior, they also need to be able to see how their patient is doing to develop a treatment plan.
Early intervention ABA therapy can help children with these skills even earlier, rather than waiting until it may be more difficult to see results. Although its primary goal is to help a child, other family members can also benefit from this type of therapy. The primary goals of the therapy include identifying behaviors to modify, teaching coping skills, and evaluating the need for further therapies.
One-to-two-hour sessions are usually conducted once a week, and they can be facilitated by either the therapist or the patient’s parents or caregivers. Some of the techniques used in this type of therapy include repetitive behavior and sensory deprivation.
One of the main strategies used in this type of therapy is positive reinforcement, which involves giving a reward to the child after they perform a specific behavior. For instance, if a child doesn’t scream while riding in a car seat, the therapist might give them something that they like, such as stickers or toys.
This type of therapy also aims to reduce or extinguish a behavior by taking away anything that encourages or reinforces it. For example, if the parent requests that the child stop screaming in the car seat, the child would be completely ignored during the car ride.
The goal of promotion is to help the child as they perform a specific behavior. It can be done by either the therapist or the patient’s caregiver. For instance, if the child refuses to pick up their toys, the therapist might gently ask them to do so again while demonstrating how to put them away.
There has been a lot of research supporting the use of ABA therapy over other treatments for autism and various other disorders. Numerous studies have shown that this type of therapy can help children improve their social and academic skills, helping them to navigate the world better.