If you are like one of the many parents throughout the world who has a child recently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, then you might be worried, confused, afraid, and wondering what comes next for your son or daughter.
While autism can certainly make things a little difficult for a child as he or she struggles to communicate or get along with others, the developmental disorder is not the end of the world and can definitely be treated.
The good news is that much trial and error is on your side when it comes to autism treatment. The behavioral treatment known as ABA therapy is pretty much considered the gold standard of autism treatment today, and that’s because it has been absolutely proven to work.
What is ABA therapy? How does it work? Why should you take your child to an ABA therapy clinic for treatment? We’ll help you out with those questions here. Here are three things to know about ABA therapy for autism.
What Does ABA Therapy Help With?
First off, it will help to know what ABA therapy actually targets when it comes to autism. The thing is, the behavioral treatment goes after the most troublesome symptoms of autism, namely the problems a child would have with communicating, interacting socially, taking care of oneself, playing and sharing with others, and learning new things in school.
If these sound like the most stubborn aspects of your child’s autism, then rest assured that ABA therapy is designed to reduce problems in those areas so your child can start to develop healthier habits.
What Does ABA Therapy Look Like?
Because ABA therapy is a form of behavioral treatment, you can expect that it will involve encouraging good behaviors, and discouraging bad ones, with a reward system.
The concept is pretty simple. When the child engages in a positive behavior as prescribed by the behavioral therapist, the child gets a reward, such as candy or a toy. The process is repeated until the positive behavior has been integrated into the child’s normal activities.
Now, remember that no two children with autism are the same, and that means no two ABA plans will be the same. Your child’s plan will be tailored to him or her.
What’s the Overall Intended Result of ABA Therapy?
In the end, ABA therapy builds upon each small step to try to instill in the child the mechanisms necessary to succeed more easily in life. Things can be hard enough as they are for children, from going to school, earning good grades, making friends, and behaving well all the time.
For children with autism, all of these challenges are amplified. What ABA therapy does is make that process easier for the child.
So, if you’ve been on the fence about enrolling your child in an ABA therapy program, it’s definitely worth at least a consultation on what to expect. It could make all the difference for your child.