What is ABA Therapy and How Can Your Child Benefit from This Treatment?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientifically validated methodology that helps professionals understand the behavior of children, teens, and adults with autism. It is also used to determine how the environment affects the disorder as well as the person who has the condition. In this context, environment refers to the social or physical influence that can be changed or that might change a person’s behavior.
The principles and technique behind ABA therapy have helped several types of learners so that they can acquire various skills, whether it is to have a healthier lifestyle or to master a new language. Ever since the early 1960s, there have been therapists who used behavior analysis to assist children who have autism as well as those with related developmental disorders.
What Exactly is ABA Therapy?
Behavior analysis mainly concentrates on the ideologies that explain how learning should ensue. One such thinking is positive reinforcement in which good behavior is followed by a reward. According to this principle, if the person knows that his or her good deed will be rewarded, the action will most likely be repeated.
Decades of research displayed that the behavior analysis has helped in increasing useful practices. It also reduces those outside sources that may destroy, harm, or interfere with the process of learning. It is where applied behavior analysis takes place where the goal is to help bring out a positive change in actions.
Over the past 40 years or so, numerous published studies have been documented, and they all showed the effectiveness of ABA therapy across a wide range of populations, including children and adults with developmental disabilities, learning disorders, and mental illness. This type of treatment is also essential for parents, staff, and teachers, as well as in different settings, including schools, homes, and institutions.
Applied behavior analysis systematically applies interventions based on scientific principles of learning to improve socially essential skills further. This way, people who may have a problem communicating with other individuals will be able to do so to a meaningful degree. They will also be able to demonstrate that there is an improvement in their behavior.
Acts and Skills that are Considered Socially Significant
Some behaviors are known as socially valuable, and they include academics, reading, social skills, adaptive living skills, and communication. Out of all these skills, many professionals focus on teaching adaptive living skills, which involve fine and gross motor skills, preparing and eating food, toileting, and dressing. These skills also include personal care, punctuality and time, work abilities, and money and value.
ABA is widely recognized as an effective and safe treatment for autism, especially today. Many state and federal agencies, such as the US Surgeon General and the New York State Department of Health, endorse ABA therapy. Over the past 10 years or so, the country has seen a massive increase in the use of this treatment to help people with autism live a productive and happy life.
ABA methods can support persons with autism in various ways, including:
– Increasing their behaviors, such as reinforcement procedures and social interactions
– Teaching new skills like systematic instruction, social abilities, and communicating with other people
– Maintaining behaviors, including self-control and self-monitoring
– Generalizing or transferring behavior from one response or situation to another, such as completing assignments in a particular room to mainstream classrooms
– Restricting conditions that interfere with acts such as modifying the learning environment
– Reducing actions that may cause harm
This treatment is a scientific discipline and places emphasis on reliable measurement and evaluation of a visible expression.
What is Reliable Measurement?
The use of this treatment, especially in-home ABA therapy, requires reliable measurement, which means that it needs a fair and unbiased definition. In this case, vague terms, including depression, aggression, tantrums, and anger, should be redefined in quantifiable and observable terms. This way, their measurable properties, such as their frequency and duration, can be directly documented.
For instance, the goal is to lessen the aggressive behavior of the child. In this case, “aggression” may be defined as “attempts, occurrences, or episodes separated by 10 seconds of scratching, pinching, pulling hair, or biting.” On the other hand, initiating interaction with other people may be defined as verbalizing with peers an appropriate greeting.
The Treatment Plan
Applied Behavioral Analysis has a proven success rate in mainstreaming children with autism into the public school system with limited assistance. There are a few motivational programs that have been developed by therapists to help children improve their behavioral and cognitive function as well as to support independence in learning. Everyday tasks can become comfortable even for these children, which makes ABA therapy agencies highly sought after because of their efficiency in improving almost all aspects of the child’s life.
Although costs for the therapy can be considerable, you can find consultations and treatments in both at a clinic setting and at home. ABA home care is what many parents want for their children because it allows them to oversee their kids in the comforts of their own home just like in school and play areas. When the therapy program is incorporated outside the clinic and classroom, it can help lower the costs for the materials, services, and the modification of the environment.
Choosing the Right ABA Therapy Agency
With several different types of therapies available for children with autism, it is essential to select the best one for your beloved kid. Go for an agency that offers excellent records of results that administers hierarchical treatment structure as recognized by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board or BACB, as well as the Association for Behavior Analysts International (ABAI) and the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA).
It is essential that the agency has certified consultants that are equipped with the knowledge and training to develop and direct individualized treatment programs that are specific to the needs of the child. The consultant often has a team of assistants that will provide help and support in administering therapy under the guidance of the head of the group.
Among the primary concerns of parents when it comes to choosing the agency is the cost of the ABA treatment. While it is true that the therapy is not an inexpensive one, it should not put a significant dent on your budget. Also, it is for your child’s well-being and his or her future. The good news is that when you choose the right agency, many major insurance carriers recognize it. In fact, eligible families can have up to 100% reimbursement or coverage from the insurance, which will then lead to low co payment expenses.
Get Started Today
The process should be quite comfortable and starts with one phone call. You will need to find a program that fits the needs of your child. A professional can also aid in determining which therapy is the most suitable by means of having a board-certified consultant visit the child and the whole family at home. It is the best opportunity to assess the unique requirements to create a thorough therapy plan.
After the discussion, scheduling will follow through to begin the treatment. If some modifications in the environment are necessary, these changes will be implemented. Administering the ABA therapy will soon start in your choice of setting, whether at home or in the clinic.