Applied Behavioral Analysis is a new approach to education and learning for children with developmental disorders like autism. ABA’s initiative focuses on increasing positivity and socially acceptable behaviors of autistic children. Life isn’t easy for children with autism due to a major brain development delay that hampers social interactions, motor skills, and language development.
ABA is a new hope for such children and their families as it can help the autistic youth acquire the same skills learned naturally by some neurotypicals. Read below to determine how early behavioral learning intervention and screening can create an environment suitable for autistic children to grow and succeed.
- By advancing social skills
ABA therapy employs methods of clarifying the relevant behavior-environment interactions of an autistic child. It first assesses the child and its environment to understand its reason behind a behavior. For social interactions, ABA emphasizes teaching eye contact, basic motor and language skills. Their aim is to motivate the child when learning, develop some socially acceptable behaviors, and reduce the non-desired or socially inappropriate behaviors. The scheduled sessions generally cure the child and make its autistic behaviors indistinguishable. It helps the child to blend in with peers and bloom.
- By enhancing learning ability
Successful ABA interventions have programs designed to meet the needs of an individual child and develop skills that allow them to independently participate in general education classrooms. The focus on individuality helps each child to work on its skill sets. It makes the child more independent and confident with an improved social language, communication skills, and peer interactions needed in academia and beyond. Exposing the child to various experiences gives it the ability to decide what’s good and not. An ABA program is customized to suit each child’s interests, skills, needs, and family background. Based on an autistic child’s skills, preferences, age, and ability, ABA therapists write down some treatment and family goals to keep track of progress.
- By improving behavior
ABA can help correct maladaptive behaviors generally associated with autism. The intensive treatment weekly basis benefits an autistic child greatly by developing focus, class participation, and motor skills. Some challenging behaviors are reduced, making it less daunting for the child to participate in group activities with more people. ABA therapists also train the autistic child’s family to learn different strategies to support the child’s new social skills. The family is also groomed for encouraging the child and themselves to participate in activities that demand involvement. The child can also learn by imitating a target behavior.
- By positive reinforcement
In a positive reinforcement strategy, an autistic child is encouraged to imitate a positive behavior in return for a reward. When favorable rewards follow an appropriate behavior, it motivates the child to make it more frequent. They have a target behavior to follow and imitate. That, in turn, makes the child well-behaved with socially acceptable behaviors to function independently in a gathering.
- By encouraging experience and exposure
Parents with an autistic child generally fight the fear of the unknown to avoid any triggers that may lead to self-harm or other aberrant behaviors of the child. The point is to expose the child, after some noticeable progress in treatment, to other environments and learn to adapt. They can then put their judgments to action to decide what is good and what is not.
Nowadays, ABA therapy sessions are also conducted in schools or wherever the autistic child may feel comfortable unraveling its true behavior. This makes it easier for the therapists to identify and rectify the problematic behaviors. With sufficient time and training, autistic symptoms can become indistinguishable, and the child can step towards success confidently.