Applied behavior analysis (ABA) aims to comprehend and modify the way children’s action’s. It’s not a specific therapy but rather a variety of diverse approaches and methods that can assist autistic individuals in picking up new abilities. The use of these techniques with young autistic children is often called Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI). Children with autism may benefit from the Applied Behavior Analysis approach and its tools to develop their social, self-care, and communication abilities.
Additionally, it can aid in taming undesirable actions like yelling, hostility, and inattention. ABA therapy can assist in a child’s autonomous development. Still, One should not use it to force a child to “mask” their autism or “fit in” with society’s expectations.
The ability of this therapy to address every behavior pertinent to a child with autism is one of its advantages. These analysts have steadily developed and improved their method because they are not diverted by the numerous competing ideas regarding the etiology of autism (or their associated therapies). As a result, the programs of today appear substantially different from those of twenty years ago. ABA can now be much more adaptable, practical, and enjoyable for the child. These types of therapies have undergone comprehensive evaluation. The effectiveness of the therapy has been studied extensively over many decades, and hundreds of more recent studies have shown how it is helpful.
How is ABA in autism therapy applied?
One of the essential methods is positive reinforcement. A person is more likely to repeat an action when it is followed by something they enjoy (a reward). This promotes beneficial changes over time. The therapist first chooses a target to achieve. Then, the individual receives a reward each time they successfully apply the habit or skill. The benefit is significant to the recipient; examples include compliments, a gift, a book or toy, the chance to view a movie, access to a playground or other location, and more. Incentivization encourages the individual to keep using the skill. This eventually results in significant behavior modification.
But how does this work exactly? A qualified analyst first evaluates a person’s needs and competence before creating a customized therapy program with clear treatment objectives often focused on several skill areas. Therapists use different strategies depending on the desired behavior and the patient’s treatment needs. Every action is broken down into smaller parts, and the child is rewarded for completing each step as they are taught. Parents and other caregivers are frequently trained by skilled therapists so that behavioral improvement can occur outside the clinical setting. The therapist determines the child’s ABCs – antecedent, behavior, and consequence – for each one that needs to change.
Benefits of ABA
ABA therapy has several advantages for children and their families, including but not limited to enhanced social skills, communication abilities, independent living, less maladaptive actions, and greater life satisfaction. Let’s look at some of these in greater detail.
Helps develop skills – The therapy is beneficial in assisting autistic persons in learning new abilities, according to studies. For instance, the researchers discovered that the Early Start Denver Model improved children’s attitudes and IQ. In addition, the severity of their autism diagnoses also lessened as a result.
It’s personal – For every individual, this therapy appears different. Depending on your child’s struggles, individual goals are developed for them. The therapist can adjust throughout individual therapy sessions to meet your child’s needs for that particular day.
Promotes better parenting – When parenting a kid with ASD, you must have a deeper understanding of your child’s characteristics and actions, mainly when they are upset and unable to communicate as other children do. The therapist creates a structured treatment plan considering your child’s requirements and developmental objectives because this is a highly adaptable program. Being actively involved in this plan and using the specially designed approaches can be incredibly empowering for you and your child.
Scientifically proven – ABA is an intervention based on evidence. The effectiveness of the techniques used in this modality has been demonstrated by research and clinical framework. This approach’s teaching techniques give children the practical knowledge to handle numerous daily tasks independently. Thanks to their teachings, these children are likely to make friends more easily, take care of their physical and hygienic needs, learn less restrictively, and participate in their communities healthily.
The family-centered therapy of applied behavior analysis involves you at every stage. After assessing your child, you will meet with professionals to discuss a treatment plan for them. Professionals will assist you in navigating your child’s disability and involve you in decision-making. They will be available to address any queries or worries and instruct you on the best ways to assist and care for your child.