In 1987, Dr. Ivar Lovaas (grandfather of ABA therapy) proved that early intervention and intensive ABA therapy could help autistic children.
The report of Dr. Ivas also states that 90% of the children have made substantial gains after going through ABA therapy. Lovaas also added that 47% of the children were indistinguishable from their peers when it came to any academic matter.
Since then, parents and therapists alike have trusted the credibility of ABA therapy. Additionally, ABA therapy is highly effective at increasing the social skills of children.
The power of ABA and why so many parents and doctors trust the ABA is in its results. Over the last half-century, it has brought positive results and given normal lives to autistic children.
However, despite all the data, there are still some critics who remain unconvinced.
ABA Therapy: The Most Effective Treatment For Autism
ABA Therapy is the abbreviation of Applied Behavioral Analysis. It is a treatment approach based on how children behave. It is applied to children who struggle to have normal mental development because of autism spectrum disorder.
Much of the foundation of ABA therapy was introduced in the early 20th century. It started with a philosophy known as Behaviorism. This philosophy talked about how positive changes in life can change the overall human condition.
While behaviorism does not have any scientific explanation, it certainly holds value in ABA therapy. ABA therapy is given to children who fall behind in mental development because of autism.
The therapy is centered around knowing the reason behind the behavior an autistic child is projecting. And then taking action to correct the behavioral patterns.
ABA therapists create plans and strategies, objectify steps for improvement and then assess whether the behavior is improving with the new strategies or not.
Since ABA therapy is about measurable objectives, many scientific studies have been conducted over the past many decades.
Components Of ABA Therapy
- Task Analysis: In this phase, complex activities are broken into a series of small steps. They then teach those small steps to the children till they learn to do every step correctly. Once the children learn all the steps, they are asked to do it collectively. This positively reinforces the new habit and increases the likelihood that your child will carry on with this habit for the years to come.
- Chaining: Chaining is one of the things that ABA therapy focuses on. It is about doing different activities one after another repeatedly. The goal is to teach your child to complete the chain as independently as possible.
- Prompting: ABA therapists may use different prompts to help autistic children learn different skills. The type of prompt and cues will depend on what your child loves the best. If there is a method that your child is comfortable with, the ABA therapist will focus on that.
- Prompt Fading: While prompts can help your autistic child learn new skills, it is important that you keep removing prompts gradually. Otherwise, you will find that they are not taking action without any prompt from the ABA therapist or family members.
- Shaping: Shaping might feel like a chain but is not quite the same. While chaining is to encourage things independently, shaping focuses on doing things correctly. Chaining teaches the child to complete a task; shaping ensures that the task is completed with perfection.
How Can ABA Therapy Help Your Child With Autism?
ABA therapy is widely known for successfully treating the autism spectrum. The therapy is more of a discipline-oriented approach than counseling. It focuses on behavior, finding loopholes in the behavior, and formulating strategies to correct them.
There are many ways in which ABA therapy can help your children. For instance –
Improve Social Skills
One of the most prevalent challenges for children suffering from autism is their social skills. They lack the common sense to mix with others and hold conversations. This might includes –
- Eye contact.
- Observational skill.
- Sharing enjoyment.
- Social programmatic.
- Building relationships with others.
ABA therapy comes with social skills programs emphasizing children learning how to interact with others, what their body language needs, and the art of building relationships with others.
Increase School Readiness
When your child grows old enough, they need to be sent to school for their studies. And as we all know, school is a place where children learn new things and make new friends. However, if your child is suffering from autism, they might find it hard to mix with other children. This might result in emotional trauma for your child.
If you can identify autism at an early age, you can start the intervention process and ABA therapy early on. What this will do is that it will teach your child all the necessary skills needed to cope with studies and exposure to life.
Improve Confidence And Self-Esteem
When your child is suffering from autism, they tend to find themselves out of the group. This breaks their confidence and shatters their self-esteem.
However, with ABA therapy, your child learns the necessary skills to navigate through the maze of social norms with ease. Their confidence rises dramatically.
ABA therapy is designed in a way that it works on children’s development and builds skills based on what previous skills they have learned.
Improve Parental & Family Participation
One of the goals of ABA therapy is to increase parents’ and family participation in the process. If family and parents are not taking the initiative to treat their children, the treatment will never be completed.
By actively participating in ABA therapy, parents can learn how to cater to their child’s unique needs and help them reach their development goals.
ABA Therapy For Autism
ABA therapy takes what children have learned and applies it to learn other skills. For instance, if your child can comfortably spell a word while singing, ABA therapists will use the skills of spelling the word to spell their name.
It is important to understand that children with special circumstances need a personalized approach for better results. ABA therapy focuses on the same and goes with the best method.