Applied behavior analysis in autism compromises of techniques and principles that can be applied in daily life of the child, is practical that help to bring about significant and positive changes in the behaviour of children with autism.
Many types of treatments/methods include specific forms of highly progressive and well strategized programmes like Errorless teaching, Discrete trial training, Pivotal response training and natural environment teaching.
Some of the teachings can be carried on at home, school, community, etc., under the guidance of parents, teachers and caretakers. A word of appraisal/praise or a timely pat should be consistent for the children. Many children with autism will learn when they provided a ‘Reward’. Such likable gifts of appreciation must be given immediately after a child accomplishes his/her tasks. This helps the child to achieve more new challenges that in turn can shapehis/her future behaviour.
Some of the Rewards that a child may love include:
- A Preferred activity: A visit to the park, sport events, etc.
- Free time: where he/she can spend some moments in the library, talk to friends, etc.
- Edible rewards: Treat them with food that they love like pizza, burger and cake.
- Tangible objects: Toys, crayons, colour book.
- Verbal praise: A simple ‘very good’ or ‘you have done a good job’ will double their enthusiasm
Applied behavior analysis in autism is one of the most common, and an effective means of treatment for children and patients with autism and other developmental disorders. It is widely brought into practice to enhance problems such as social behaviour, repetitive mannerism, communication challenges, reasoning skills, etc. Applied behaviour analysis therapy is useful in training children with autism, various behaviors, which they do not easily ‘pick-up’ or cope up with on their own. This behavior analysis teaches them the skills after observing and carefully analysing the behaviourand planning steps that may help to overcome them. Applied Behavior Analysis involves intensive training by well-known therapists and supervision by experience Boards Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
For example, some children with autism may find it difficult to communicate. In such a case the goal considers by the applied behavior analysis in autism is of course –‘verbal behavior’. Other forms of communication like sign language or picture communication can help in the development of communication skill for children with ASD. A technique called ‘Manding’ also helps in developing speech in kids with Autism. This involves teaching a child to ask for a preferred item verbally. E.g. teaching a child to say’ cookie’ by keeping cookie in front of the child. It is important to note that mand training should always start from preferred items.
It is advisable for both the parents and teachers to discuss with a behavioural consultant about the various options with training therapy. For many patients, the training may be a bit traumatic in the beginning. But under the guidance of the best professionals, this training can turn out to be enjoyable and fruitful.
Autism parents, teachers, caretakers must be careful when choosing a therapy.
Thus, applied behaviour analysis is a method of learning and modifying the behaviour of a child with autism and other developmental disorders. It increases a desirable behavior and decreases problem behaviors.