If you observe your kid behaving differently than other kids of the same age, there is a chance your doctor could diagnose an Autism disorder. Pediatricians usually suggest ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy in such cases. As the name suggests, ABA therapy works by observing the different behaviors exhibited by a kid with Autism and then gradually trying to improve their emotional and life skills.
ABA therapy is not a generic approach to treating Autism. It is an interpersonal therapy under which specific plans are made for every autistic child based on their behavior, social needs, and learning styles. Applied Behavioral Analysis uses learning theory-based therapies to improve communication and social skills.
Children with Autism can benefit from ABA therapy in the following ways:
Improve Social Skills Through Interactive Activities
One key problem area of Autism spectrum disorder is impairment in the usual social functioning of a child. An autistic kid will have a problem in regular conversations and cannot respond to people.
Moreover, they may fail to perform even simple activities such as maintaining eye contact, playing games with kids their age, observing others and learning from them, making social interactions, understanding non-verbal cues, and having fun with others.
ABA therapy primarily focuses on this area of an autistic kid. Children who participate in social development programs of ABA therapy learn to enjoy fun interactions with their peers while building relationships and improving their ability to cope in various social situations.
Speech therapy is one of the techniques that aba therapists use to help kids improve their social skills. An SLP (speech-language pathologist) first try to understand the communication challenges faced by your child and give them interactive exercises that will enhance their ability to communicate with people in different environments.
Speech therapy helps children communicate their needs and desires and understand the words and non-verbal ways other people try to communicate. Examples include- using their favorite toys and snacks, making them learn through animal noises, etc.
Implement Self-Control Management Practices
ABA therapy uses principles to develop plans that promote self-management and self-control in autistic kids. There are two major goals of ABA therapy-
- Helping ASD learners acquire new skills.
- Developing self-regulation mindsets in them.
Self-management while developing social skills in ASD learners includes:
- Give a task and help them identify it.
- Adjust the learning environment so that they can understand the situation.
- Documenting their behaviors and reactions.
- Stopping them from negative reinforcement and stimming, which includes behaviors where kids try to harm themselves, show aggression, or try to damage property.
Induces Strong Academic Skills
Children with Autism are known to have short attention spans. Parents sometimes complain that their children are too energetic and are unable to concentrate on anything for a long time, including academics.
ABA therapy programs work to improve cognitive motor skills using matching and imitation programs and thus improve attention in young people with Autism. Your child will be more optimistic about learning new concepts. This includes improvements in putting a sustained focus on the alphabet, numbers, algebra, colors, and shapes in school.
Help Improve Parenting Skills.
The presence of parents in an ABA therapy environment makes it more comfortable for kids to learn and feel protected. Children progress better when parents actively participate in treatment. A good clinic ensures they have room for the whole family unit. The family-centered treatment model involves parents at every stage, including-
- Goal setting
- Program execution
- Track progress and improvements
You will be able to understand your child better and make effective and conscious interactions with them. Additionally, you will learn to incorporate these changes into your daily life to support your child’s development.
Applied behavior therapy is the most successful treatment for children with an autism spectrum disorder. ABA programs can provide additional opportunities for improving the overall quality of an autistic child.