There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when ABA therapy is needed, as every child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will have different needs.
However, there are certain red flags that can indicate that ABA therapy may be necessary in order to help your child reach their fullest potential.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common signs that ABA therapy may be needed.
But first let’s get a better understanding of ABA therapy.
What is ABA therapy?
ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis.
ABA therapy aims to improve specific behaviors and skills in autistic children through a variety of techniques that involve breaking down complex tasks into smaller steps.
The steps are then reinforced until your child learns to do them on their own.
It is the most highly recommended form of therapy for autistic children and has been shown to be effective in a number of studies.
Signs your child might need ABA therapy
Below are some signs that your child may benefit from ABA therapy:
- Your child does not speak or speaks very little (also known as nonverbal)
- Your child has trouble interacting with others socially; they avoid eye contact, withdraw, or behave in a way that is disruptive to others (this includes behaviors such as screaming, tantrums, hand flapping etc.)
- You notice your child’s language skills are delayed
- Your child has difficulty expressing emotions (such as anxiety, anger)
- Your child has difficulty with problem solving (they often act impulsively or are prone to meltdowns when faced with a challenging situation)
- Sensory processing disorder or sensory issues are impacting your child’s ability to participate in everyday activities
If you are noticing these signs then you should take your child to a doctor or therapist for a further consultation. Only a trained professional can diagnose ASD.
The earlier you start with therapy the better, as studies have shown that early intervention helps children reach their fullest potential by improving language skills and reducing challenging behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorder,
Techniques ABA therapists use to help autistic children
ABA therapy makes use of a variety of techniques that aim to help autistic children reach their fullest potential. These include:
- Positive reinforcement (rewards for desired behavior) and negative reinforcement (removing an unpleasant stimulus in order to increase the likelihood of a specific behavior)
- Task analysis (breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps)
- Behavior modification (teaching new skills and behaviors)
- Social skills training (teaching autistic children how to interact with others socially)
- Pivotal response training (PRT): a form of ABA therapy that focuses on teaching new skills and behaviors by targeting pivotal areas such as motivation, self-management and self-initiation.
- Discrete trial training (DTT): a form of ABA therapy that involves breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.
- Natural environment training (NET): a form of ABA therapy that focuses on teaching new skills and behaviors in the child’s natural environment (at home or school). It is an alternative to DTT because some children may find it overwhelming.
ABA therapy is a highly individualized treatment and the techniques used will vary depending on your child’s needs. However, the main goal is always to increase positive behaviors while decreasing negative ones.
The Golden Care Therapy Difference
At Golden Care Therapy, we understand that every child is unique and so are their needs. That’s why our ABA therapists take a highly individualized approach to therapy with each of our clients. We get to know your family on a personal level and tailor the program specifically for your child.
Our team of experienced ABA professionals will develop a comprehensive plan that includes goals and strategies to address your child’s specific needs while also providing you with tools to support them at home. Our therapy sessions are designed to be fun and engaging, so your children can learn in an environment where they feel safe and comfortable!