Applied behavioral analysis, also called ABA, is the leading therapy for ASD. For children with symptoms of autism, ABA focuses on analyzing behavior and behavior response to the world around them. Communicating with young children on the autism spectrum can provide a breadth of challenges and frustrations many parents don’t know how to meet. Navigating the world of autism treatment options can be overwhelming when each child’s needs and symptoms differ. However, applied behavioral analysis provides the framework and support parents need to help children with high functioning autism.
What Is ABA Autism Therapy?
ABA therapy focuses on positive reinforcement to track a child’s growth and development. ABA works through ignoring irritating or “incorrect” behavior and rewarding positive behavior. This treatment may include verbal, material, or play rewards for putting dirty clothes in the hamper or responding appropriately to social situations. By analyzing behavior, therapists and parents can see and understand how a child responds in real-life situations. Through witnessing and tracking behavioral responses and changes in behavior over time, therapists can assess a child’s strengths and challenges in functional, social, and communication skills. When pairing ABA analysis with skills training and speech therapy, children with high-functioning autism progress and thrive at home, in the classroom, and in the outside world.
Examples of ABA Therapy
ABA therapy uses a range of techniques to prompt positive behavior and minimize negative behavior. These techniques may include:
- Modeling: Therapists, parents, and educators model social behavior such as handshake greetings, saying thank you, or physical tasks like brushing their teeth. Children follow modeled behavior to develop their own skills and routines.
- PECS: The picture exchange communication system uses pictures to teach vocabulary words. Pictures are exchanges for objects or words to strengthen verbal and non-verbal communication.
- Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is a tenant of ABA for autism therapy, providing rewards for good behavior, correct use of vocabulary, and proper social interaction. Rewards are always based on the child’s values. Some create systems of tokens for exchange for screen-time, toys, or favorite snacks.
Through ABA therapy, clinicians, parents, and children focus on building communication and critical thinking skills in the real world.
Benefits of ABA Therapy
ABA therapy can begin at any age. However, early intervention programs using ABA techniques in conjunction with skills and communication therapy can have the following effect:
- Children show more interest and engagement with the world around them.
- Parents will see improved verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
- The child will learn to self-advocate for needs and desires.
- Teachers will notice improved focus at school.
- The child will focus on reducing self-harming behaviors, outbursts, and tantrums.
These and other benefits of ABA therapy continue to improve over time with easy-to-track systems of growth and progress. ABA allows parents and children to set reasonable, achievable goals to encourage learning. Because ABA is used throughout autism treatment, the system is easy to understand and adapt to each child’s specific needs. Often considered the “gold standard” in autism therapy, applied behavioral analysis provides support children need.
Contact EMIT Therapeutics for More Information
There are many approaches to autism therapy, as different strategies meet your child’s specific needs as they learn and grow. At EMIT Therapeutics, we believe in providing holistic, individualized autism support to help children develop into independent, well-rounded adults. We tailor our therapeutic approaches to each child and family’s specific needs. Our in-home telehealth services provide you and your child with structure and support that meets the flexibility of your life. If you’re ready to begin telehealth autism therapy for your child, contact us online today or at 844.983.0240.