All about ABA Therapy

Did your child get diagnosed with Autism?

As a parent, you feel great stress and it is hard to deal with such a situation. After all, you just want to your child to be just like other kids.

For any kind of reaction delay or behavioral issues, doctors recommend therapy.

There are multiple therapies that help in improving the behavior and responsiveness of a child.

For Autistic children, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy has been marked as the gold standard for autism treatment.

Hence, in this article, I will tell you what ABA is, how it works, and four techniques of ABA therapy.

So, let’s begin.

What is ABA Therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a type of therapy that improves the communication skills, motor skills, and behavioral issues of a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The goal of an ABA therapy program is to make the child work on those skills that make them independent in their lives. ABA therapy uses positive reinforcement to help child learn good behavior and reduce problematic behavior. ABA therapy teaches important skills that are building blocks of life; language, communication, social, and daily living skills.

How does it work?

A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) can work as an ABA therapists. ABA therapy programs are customized for every child. Your child will first be assessed and then a treatment plan will be formed with appropriate goals. Then this plan will be implemented through regular scheduled sessions. The sessions can happen at home or at therapist’s office.

4 Techniques of ABA Therapy

1. Discrete Trial Training

Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is about using the Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence (ABC) approach to target and improve specific behaviors in a controlled environment. The therapist provides precursor or stimulus which is basically a request made to a child that provokes a certain behavior and in return positive reinforcement is done in response to the behavior.

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This whole process is repeated until the desired behavior is shown by the child on its own. DTT is mostly used to develop social and behavioral skills.

2. Modeling

Modeling technique is about presenting a model example of what is expected from the child as a behavioral response. The ABA therapist may provide an in-person, a video, or an audio example. For instance, a video can be shown that demonstrates two kids shaking hands with each other to greet. This technique helps in developing social and communication skills of the child.

3. Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

This technique involves teaching communication and vocabulary skills through pictures. A set of picture cards are given to the child and child picks one card and then the therapist provides the object shown in the picture. This helps in learning and communicating new words, phrases, and modifiers.

4. Reinforcement Systems

Though this method of reinforcement system is not favored by many and is always debated. This technique involves teaching the child about the consequences of certain behaviors. For instance, if the child doesn’t engage in the appropriate behavior, they may be asked to try again or even the reinforcement may be withheld until the desired behavior is shown. This system works well for the children as they may receive tokens against the positive behavior they have shown. And these tokens can be exchanged for snacks, toys, or some other fun activity.

So, this how ABA therapy works, one technique might not suit every child therefore such ABA programs are highly personalized for each child. If your child needs therapy you can contact an ABA therapist for the assessment and help your child become independent by learning basic life skills.

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