What is ABA Therapy?
Applied behavioral analysis therapy is one of the most widely respected treatments for children with autism spectrum disorders. ABA is based on familiar therapeutic techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy, but – there are some significant departures in practice that make it uniquely suited to improve learning and behavior goals for ASDs.
If you are considering this course of treatment for your children, this article should provide a basis of understanding for you. Please read on to learn more about:
- What you might expect when you start ABA therapy
- What the goals of the treatment are, in most cases
- How you as a caregiver can take an active role in your child’s development
What Should I Expect From ABA Therapy?
You should expect the first session of a long-term ABA therapy course to look a little like a play date. The initial appointments are critically important for the behavioral therapist — they allow a chance to get to know your child’s favorite snacks, games and treats. They also allow therapists to find other opportunities to provide positive reinforcement.
Going forward, the tone may change during some sessions to a more formal, classroom-style format. The high level of engagement between your child and the therapist should continue throughout the entire course.
What Are the Goals of ABA Therapy?
Your goals should have a major impact on the priorities of your therapist. In fact, one of the first things you will discuss during your initial consultations will be what you feel your child needs. Treatment goals should also be based on a certified professional’s analysis of your child’s behavior and current academic performance. Common target outcomes include:
- Better grades in school
- Reduction of problem behaviors
- Increased communication skills
- Development of language skills for children at risk of being non-verbal
Each of these goals comes with its own unique challenges. Therapists and planners will build their activities and session structures based on whichever area needs the most improvement.
How Can I Help Treat My Child’s Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Many parents come to ABA therapy centers with the hope they can help their child become a better communicator, engage in more socially acceptable behavior or perform better in school. The good news is, through parent-focused treatment, you can take an active, central role in your child’s improvement. This therapy format empowers you to establish a consistent and clinically examined pattern of positive reinforcement. Your questions would be answered and your child’s progress would be tracked by treatment coordinators via regular sessions.
As you can see, the exact form ABA therapy takes should depend on your child’s needs and your own goals. You can generally expect a feeling of play and a high level of engagement between children and therapists, but the goals and even the modes of treatment vary based on the situation. The best way to understand ABA therapy is to schedule an initial consultation. Please call Pinnacle Autism Therapy today to make an appointment.