How does ABA help my child with Autism?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) helps children with Autism gain functional independence. Signs & symptoms of autism include discomfort in social situations, difficulty in communicating needs, often, lack of speech, with behavioral issues such as flapping their hands, etc. These signs of autism arise due to a sensory processing difficulty. This may affect their activities of daily living, due to which, they meet assistance or special services. Consistent ABA therapy for children can significantly improve the child’s behaviors and skills and decrease their need for special services. Behavioral therapy for autistic children includes exercises & activities that promote independence, communication, attentiveness, & social skills. Here are the benefits of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for your child.
Socially significant behaviors:
These are skills or behaviors required to function in a society or group. These include conversations with other people, playing in a group by following rules and taking turns, behaving appropriately in public, etc. Due to the sensory processing issues that autistic individuals may experience, it becomes extremely difficult for them to always maintain these socially significant behaviors. These behaviors include learning self-control and self monitoring procedures.
Why are these behaviors important though? When we speak of ‘independence’ we not only refer to daily activities, but also, to long term aspects, such as jobs or careers. Most autistic individuals are able to overcome or mask their sensory difficulties, and take up regular jobs, or even be inventors of incredible things. However, there are many autistic individuals on the severe part of the spectrum, who may struggle more. Hence, ABA therapy, helps such individuals as well.
Personally important behaviors:
Every child, autistic or otherwise, goes through the phase of learning the importance of maintaining personal hygiene. Toilet training, washing hands, dressing themselves, bathing, eating, etc. These are the skills required for self-help, doing daily activities and personal well-being of an individual. Parents of autistic kids often find it hard to teach these skills. ABA therapy for autsitic children helps the child adjust to a routine. This helps them follow these activities of daily living with minimal or absolutely no assistance. The ABA program for autism includes
Academically relevant behaviors:
Autistic children are known to have fleeting attention span. Parents often express that their children are extremely hyperactive and don’t focus on one thing for too long. This includes academics. While many autistic individuals are known to have savant skills, not all of them are academically always sound. An ABA therapy program aims at improving cognitive skills in autistic children, while also working on their attention span. ABA therapy for autism helps your child be more available or receptive to learning new concepts. These are the skills related to school work such as the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, math, reading, etc.
Behaviors required to learn all other behaviors:
These are the skills necessary to learn all other skills. These skills include attending to tasks, imitating sounds, words and actions, making eye contact, matching pictures and objects, sitting in a place for extended periods of time, listening to instructions, etc. ABA therapy for autism helps in teaching the child these skills.
Reducing excess and harmful behaviors:
ABA is used to reduce problem behaviors that may interfere with learning, such as hyperactivity, stimming, self-injurious and aggressive behavior etc. ABA also focuses on reducing or eliminating behavior that may be harmful to the individual or others around him/her. For example, reinforcement procedures increase on-task behavior or social interactions and reduce behaviors like self-injury or stereotypical behaviors.
Refer to our Worldwide Directory to start ABA therapy for your autistic child, from an ABA Therapist closest to you.