There is a wide range of treatment plans and intervention services available to alleviate the symptoms of ASD. These are also tools to improve the quality of life of children who have autism. Every child under the autism spectrum has different degrees of symptoms as well as individual sets of challenges. This being said, there is no set treatment plan or a one-solution-fits-all therapy for ASD.
Common treatments that are usually in the form of early intervention include occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, social skills training, and ABA or applied behavioral analysis training. Today, we are going to take a closer look at how ABA therapy can positively impact the lives of children with autism.
What is ABA Therapy?
Simply put, ABA therapy seeks to improve the challenging areas of development in children with ASD through positive reinforcement. These areas could be communication, social interaction, and learning skills. Not only is ABA therapy effective in addressing autism, but it can also be used in treating dementia, substance abuse, anger management, and eating disorders.
ABA therapy generally involves a treatment plan done at specific stages. These are all influenced by the child’s needs, thus ABA therapies are not the same – the treatment is customized with the child’s strengths and weaknesses in mind.
The Different Stages Of ABA Therapy
Just like any other treatment plan, ABA therapy consists of different stages. It starts with an assessment by the ABA therapist. The specialist evaluates the child’s strengths and determines challenging behaviors that are needed to be addressed. This is followed by creating measurable goals and objectives to achieve development milestones for the child.
The next thing is to create a learning program with set goals in mind. This program could be implemented to teach a specific skill to a child for instance, learning to respond to social cues such as saying thank you or you’re welcome.
The ABA therapist then evaluates the effectiveness of the program by measuring the goals that have been set for the child. At this stage, the specialist will know if the treatment is effective for the child and if modifications to the programs are necessary. Ultimately, ABA therapy is an ongoing process that involves frequent evaluation, monitoring, and support.
The Parents’ Role
Parents are expected to play an active role in their children’s ABA therapy. There is a constant collaboration that takes place between parents and the ABA practitioner. Fortunately, there are several resources available to support parents in assisting their children’s therapy.
ABA training for parents is widely available and accessible as well. Similarly, educators can also benefit from ABA therapy, especially if they work at an inclusive institution. Learning centers specifically catering to the wellness of special needs children can be reliable resources to provide support not just for parents of ASD children but for siblings and extended family as well.
ABA Therapy And ASD
With ABA therapy, children with ASD can have a better quality of life as it improves their independent living skills. Working with an ABA practitioner can empower parents and guardians to work and cope with their children’s ASD. Overall, ABA therapy is an effective instrument to treat autism and ensure that ASD children achieve their full potential.