Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapy centered on the principles of learning and behavior, which is primarily used to treat Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This therapy’s approach explores the learning process, behavior theory, and the effects surrounding environments have on a child’s behavior. The goal of ABA therapy is to improve education, communication, socialization, and comprehension through positive reinforcement.
ABA Therapy Principles
- Individualized Approach – Since autism impacts every individual differently, ABA Therapy relies on an initial assessment prior to the start of actual therapy. This assessment is completed by a Board-Certified Behavior Technician (BCBA), who creates a specialized treatment plan for the individual with ASD. ABA Therapy plans are unique to fit the needs and goals of each kid!
- Adaptable Nature – Even though a treatment plan is developed from an initial assessment, a child’s treatment is fluid. Based on their response, the BCBA will update a kid’s plan as therapy progresses. This flexibility ensures the ABA Therapy maintains pace with each child’s progress and continues to fit with their altering needs.
- Positive Reinforcement – Positive reinforcement is the main strategy behind Applied Behavior Analysis. The BCBA identifies behavior goals in their treatment plan. Each time a child successfully practices the identified behavior goal, they receive a reward or reinforcement. The reward is something valued by the individual, which will continuously motivate them to repeat positive behavior.
- Parental Involvement – Even though ABA Therapy sessions are led by the child and the behavior therapist, parents are involved in this process. This involvement allows parents to practice the strategies of a treatment plan outside of therapy sessions. It reinforces the progress made by the behavior therapist and keeps everyone in the kid’s life on the same page.
- Intensive Therapy – ABA Therapy is an intensive therapy for a specific amount of time. It requires substantial time each week but also has an estimated conclusion for therapy. The weekly time range for therapy varies depending on a child’s needs. On average, therapists work with kids for 15 to 30 hours per week depending on severity, age, and treatment plan.
Benefits of ABA Therapy
- Increased acknowledgement of people
- Communicate more effectively
- Ability to express their needs specifically and clearly
- Demonstrate more focus
- Reduce self-harming behavior
- Decreased outbursts and tantrums
- Increased language skills
- Increased attention and memory skills
- Improve academic performance
- Unlock new learning abilities
Helping Hand’s Reasons for Belief in ABA Therapy
- It’s an evidence-based treatment endorsed by the US Surgeon General and American Psychological Association.
- It’s an adaptable treatment that fits the needs of each individual.
- It teaches important skills useful in everyday life.
- It incorporates positive reinforcement to drive behavior goals.