Children with autism can reach their full potential for a happy life.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the gold standard in autism care. It’s a scientific approach to understanding how a child’s physical and social environment affects their actions, and their ability to learn. When those connections are discovered, we can work to modify a child’s environment to increase learning and desired behaviors. That work is called ABA therapy.
After decades in practice, ABA therapy has become widely regarded by the medical community to be a safe and effective treatment for autism, because it has proven to be the most beneficial type of health intervention to produce meaningful outcomes.
If your child has been diagnosed with autism, read on to learn how ABA therapy can be a fundamental part of your plan for a happy and productive future for your child, and as a result, for your entire family.
ABA therapy fosters learning and skill acquisition.
If your child has behavioral or learning issues, you’re far from alone. Millions of American parents struggle to address their child’s unique needs every day.
An autism diagnosis makes navigating social and academic spheres even more complex. The good news is ABA therapy has been proven to foster basic skills, such as making eye contact, expressing needs and wants, potty training, and more complicated tasks, such as reading, making friends and even working successfully at a job!
While some ABA therapy sessions involve intensive one-on-one instruction with a behavior therapist, group sessions with peers are also a valuable way for children to learn important social skills and to learn in a format that is similar to school.
ABA therapy helps decrease unwanted behaviors.
ABA uses the principles of learning to help kids with autism master important life skills by replacing unwanted behaviors with desired behaviors that enable learning to take place.
For example, when a desired behavior is followed by a reinforcer, like praise or a treat, a child is likely to engage in that behavior in the future to get the same result. If a child learns to say the word “juice” and that behavior is followed by receiving juice, the child is more likely to use words to request the desired item in the future, because it results in getting what they want.
During ABA therapy sessions, behavior specialists use ABA to encourage positive behaviors and to extinguish harmful behaviors. For instance, if a child typically tantrums to get juice, they will learn they don’t get juice when they tantrum. When they point to the juice, say “juice,” or otherwise appropriately request the juice, only then is the juice delivered.
Over time, tantrums in children with autism will stop because they’re not effective in getting the desired result and language use will increase because it pays off!
Most importantly, the skills gained in ABA therapy can be reinforced at home during dinnertime, playtime, and family time, so that your child can learn to interact positively with siblings and other family members.
ABA therapy started early has lasting results.
ABA is a time-proven method. Children with learning and behavior challenges have continually shown significant improvements in important skills such as learning, reasoning, communication, and adaptability when they participate in intensive, high-quality ABA programs.
The key is starting ABA therapy early. Children as young as 2 years old can benefit, and extensive research has shown the earlier children start ABA therapy, the better and long-lasting the results are.
Give your child a brighter future today! Find a Behavioral Health Center of Excellence® (BHCOE) in your area.
The Behavior Exchange is proud to be a Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, having earned the prestigious 3-year accreditation – the highest accreditation possible for center-based ABA providers.
We’ve been the local autism expert in North Texas for more than 20 years. We’ve also expanded into the Boulder, Colorado area to bring our fun, life-changing ABA therapy programs to families throughout the Front Range.