Is ABA the Best Treatment for Autism?
When it comes to treating autism spectrum disorders, “best” is a relative term. Each case is unique, with its own set of challenges and goals – this is one of the reasons applied behavior analysis therapy is often so effective in treating these disorders.
ABA therapy is personalized by design. Each course is based on individualized analysis of the person undergoing treatment. This format allows therapists and caregivers to identify unique challenges and adapt their practices as necessary to establish desirable behavior patterns, teach communication skills and encourage social engagement.
There are a few key reasons why ABA is so widely recommended, especially for children with autism. Please continue reading for a brief discussion of these strengths and how your child might benefit from them.
Many children who stop exhibiting symptoms of ASD’s go on to have good social, motor and academic skills later in life. Early treatment is positively associated with these outcomes, and ABA is often an element of those early treatments.
Identifying ASD’s before preschool age is important, but there are often many challenges at this age. For example, even securing the attention of young children on the spectrum — much less attempting to improve behavior — is difficult without a systematic approach.
Because ABA is based on analysis of actions and patterns, it is appropriate for younger children. Rather than attempt to modify behaviors through discussion, ABA works through repetition, modeling and positive reinforcement of good results. Children learn — and begin to understand and emulate — by doing, rather than by conversing.
Certain types of ABA therapy could look like a play date to a casual onlooker. It is true that sessions are often fun, engaging and immersive. However, when you look beyond the surface, you will find a high level of scientific rigor. Although the treatment centers tend to be colorful and the therapists highly energetic, every aspect of both the space and the action taking place within is carefully planned to engage and teach.
Children with ASDs tend to respond well to highly controlled environments, such as the treatment centers described above. However, some advanced techniques are often more effective in less controlled settings.
Addressing a specific target behavior at school or home could work better by bringing the therapeutic practice to those places. ABA provides structure through techniques and exercises, even in these more chaotic environments.
Like any other treatment for ASD’s, ABA is not the answer for everyone. However, it is accepted and endorsed by many of the world’s leading government and healthcare institutions for its effectiveness. To learn more about the data behind ABA’s wide acceptance or to better understand how your child could benefit from this treatment, please feel free to call us today.