When you find out your child needs ABA therapy many aspects of it may become extremely confusing. Here are some things you need to know about ABA as a Parent.
What You Need to Know About ABA as a Parent
Becoming a parent can be one of the most enjoyable yet stressful periods of your life, as you just don’t know what to expect when you finally bring your bundle of joy home. As they grow older you will watch them morph from infants into toddlers, and then they will start school and their personalities will really start to develop.
It is whilst they are at school that they may start to show signs of learning difficulties or that they have an underlying condition that may be holding them back from progressing at the same rate as their peers. Often this can be quite frightening because as a parent you will immediately think that there is something wrong with them when in reality every child progresses at different speeds and it is quite normal that children may have learning difficulties.
ABA, or applied behavior analysis, is a way of understanding behavior in the context of a particular environment and is important because therapy can then be used to improve behavior so that it doesn’t interfere with learning. As a parent, it is vital that you are well clued-up about ABA so that you can follow your child’s progress and can help as much as possible from the home. In this article we are going to take a look at everything that you need to know about ABA, so read on to find out more.
What is ABA?
Applied behavior analysis, or ABA, is based on a branch of science called behavior analysis which, as the name suggests, covers behavior and learning, and it also includes laws or principles about how behavior works and how learning takes place.
What ABA therapy does is apply these laws with the aim to reduce such behavior that is not conducive to learning and development, and that may even be harmful to the future development of a child.
It is often used with children who have autism to try and improve their language and communication skills as well as to help develop their attention and focus and also their memory, social and academic skills. If a child is showing problem behaviors, whether towards their peers or just in general, then ABA can be used to try and tackle the issues head-on and improve them.
Whilst ABA is often used with children who show signs of autism it can also be extremely useful for children with eating disorders or can be applied to wider issues in society such as traffic control. So, in short, ABA is a great way of analyzing the reasons for a particular behavior and the consequences that arise, and then it can develop interventions based on the information that has been gleaned.
ABA therapy has now entered the mainstream due to the fact that it is now considered an evidence-based treatment. This means that scientific tests have been done on its quality, usefulness, and effectiveness and it has been proved to have passed these tests. There are many techniques when it comes to ABA therapy but all of them act on the same basis. They will focus on the causes of particular behaviors i.e. what happens before a particular behavior occurs, known as antecedents, and then on the consequences of these actions. One often-used form of treatment can be a bit like teaching a dog a new trick as it focuses on positive reinforcement which is the idea that when a particular behavior is followed by a reward, then it is more likely to be repeated. This positive reinforcement can then be measured so that meaningful change can be brought about over time.
Strengths of ABA therapy
Over the last few decades, many scientists have become fascinated by the causes of autism and have spent many thousands of hours researching the subject, however, often scientists disagree with each other over their findings. The difference with behavior analysts is that they are unconcerned about the causes of autism, so they have been left free to develop their approach as and when it has become necessary, and this has proved a really positive aspect of this field for child development especially from a parental point of view. As more information for parents on ABA therapy comes to light, then more parents are willing to let their children be studied which helps them to receive the therapy that they need to develop into a well-rounded adult. ABA therapies have also changed dramatically over the years and are now much more fun for the child as they can be tailored to their needs rather than having a one size fits all approach, and this helps parents to understand the help that their child is getting in better detail.
Research has also shown that ABA therapy is most useful when used intensively but this does not mean to say that less intensive techniques such as picture exchange communication systems cannot help, often they can be used to target specific results if your shield suffers in one particular area.
Why Will Your Child Benefit?
Depending on the specific behaviors your child is showing, ABA can be a huge help. If they struggle to learn, making new friends, communicating with others, or show other types of behavior that impact their normal way of functioning, then ABA could be the answer to your prayers. Any form of aggressive behavior such as temper tantrums or self-harm can easily be addressed using this type of therapy, so if your child displays any of these symptoms, ABA could really improve their behavior and therefore their education.
As we have learned ABA, is a type of behavioral therapy for children based on the causes and consequences of their behavior. It can be used for children who show signs of autism and can tackle their issues head-on in a way that is tailored to every individual.
When therapy is used intensively, results are normally most pronounced but this doesn’t mean to say that one of the therapies cannot be used to help change your child’s behavior. So, if your child struggles to communicate with others, has learning difficulties, or shows signs of temper tantrums and aggressive behavior, then ABA therapy could be the answer that you are looking for.