Is the ABA Therapy Working for your Kid?
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is a type of therapy that focuses on improving social, learning, and communication skills via positive reinforcement. Since its inception, it has helped many children and adults to develop essential skills and positive behaviors that protects them from harming themselves.
But since it is quite popular, many approaches to ABA have emerged, and they focus more on the play than the structure. It has also become controversial as there are different types of training for the ABA practitioner, and each of them offers different therapy.
But despite the drawbacks, many healthcare professionals recommend this treatment to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental conditions. Additionally, it can help treat dementia, substance abuse, eating disorders, anger issues, and phobia.
This article covers what you need to know about ABA therapy and whether it is right for your kid?
The role of the Parent in ABA Therapy
The ABA therapy is not any conventional treatment that you set and forget about it. Additionally, you can leave your child to a technician and move out, hoping they will get positive results. Instead, you are involved in every stage of therapy with the doctors and therapists to:
Assess your Kid- You need to help the doctor tell him about any uncommon or negative behaviors in your kid.
Develop a Treatment Plan- You also need to choose the best ways your kid will learn. For instance, the interventions you will put in place to improve his quality of life.
Monitor the Kid- After the kid goes through ABA, you need to monitor and share your observations with the health practitioners.
Though these steps might seem many, they are manageable, and the health practitioner will guide you during the process.
How ABA Works
ABA involves many techniques that help to change the kid’s behavior to positive. It can be modified to suit the needs of anyone and can be offered at most locations, including school, home, or community. It is very important because it imparts useful lessons.
The main strategy of ABA is positive reinforcement.
When a behavior is followed by something valuable like a reward, the person will likely repeat it. When done constantly, it can lead to a positive behavioral change. For starters, the therapists first set a goal for the desired behavior outcome. And when the person uses the skill or behavior successfully, they will be rewarded.
The reward is usually selected because it’s valuable to the individual, i.e., a toy, book, praise, or access to an important location. With the reward, the kid will be motivated to continue with the goal behaviors. Over time, it will result in meaningful change
Home Practice Sessions
For the home practice sessions. You need to consult an ABA-trained therapist. This is the consultation referred to as functional behavioral assessment (FBA). Therapists usually inquire about the strengths, skills, and weaknesses of your child.
Additionally, they may demand some time with your child to monitor his communicational skills and behavior. The therapist can also visit your kid’s school to monitor him, and the difference varies according to the child. After this, he will suggest the essential treatment for your kid.
Develop a Therapy Plan
Once the therapist gets enough evidence of the child’s behavior and condition, he will create a therapy plan. This plan should align with the treatment goals and the child’s needs. It should aim to reduce harmful or problematic behaviors such as self-injury while also improving the positive skills and behaviors.
Is ABA effective in Kids?
The health professionals found that ABA is effective, especially when children are under 5 years of age. However, it can also be beneficial for older kids. Additionally, the research from various documents shows that ABA therapy is effective for adults of over 21 years.
But for the parent who is wondering how long the child needs to take should know that it depends on the child’s needs. However, the average time is three years, and most time is spent at home, but it can also extend to 5 years.
ABA therapy is one of the most effective therapies for dealing with physically or socially harmful behaviors. It relies on evidence and observation and is very natural. It will help a parent promote positive behaviors in their kids and reduce the negative ones that can affect learning.