Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a type of therapy that helps children with autism reduce challenging behaviors while improving social and daily living skills. ABA therapy addresses the science behind learning and behavior. This therapy applies mindful daily living strategies and routines to influence the learner and encourage desired actions. While a trained behavior analyst designs and oversees the ABA program, the greatest successes come from a collaborative approach where parents, teachers, and other family members actively utilize the appropriate ABA therapy techniques.
Attend Parent And Caregiver Coaching Sessions
It’s crucial for parents and caregivers to receive special training on ABA techniques. You probably spend more time with your child than any other person. While your child will likely spend 20 to 40 hours a week engaging in therapy with a professional behavior analyst, this is no substitute for parental involvement. ABA therapy requires the steady and stable application of therapeutic techniques day in and day out. A good ABA therapy center will always offer parent and caregiver coaching. This may come in the form of a group class, one-on-one sessions, or online training.
Communicate Appropriate Strategies To Other Caregivers
ABA therapy works best when it’s applied consistently across all the child’s interactions. This means that every caregiver must receive proper instruction on how to apply ABA therapy techniques. Parents may need to set up individual meetings with the child’s teacher, speech or occupational therapist, daycare provider, and other family members. Before the child goes to visit grandparents or cousins, take some time to explain your ABA therapy techniques to these individuals so everyone can apply the same behavioral techniques regardless of the setting or situation.
Practice Interventions At Home
Once you and your family have gained the proper education and training, you can put your ABA interventions to work. Though challenging, it’s best to consistently apply all recommended strategies throughout the day and night. This typically involves praising good behaviors and ignoring unwanted ones. For many parents, this runs counter-intuitive to their tendency to punish negative behaviors. It can be difficult to apply copious amounts of praise to a child who is exhibiting difficult behaviors. However, making the effort to find and focus on even the smallest successes is one of the most important keys to ABA therapy.
Communicate With Your Therapist
Identify your greatest stumbling blocks at home and bring these to the attention of your child’s therapist. A team-based approach can help you all find actionable ways to overcome difficulties. Regular communication equips your therapist to apply an evidence-based practice that takes all your child’s needs into account.
ABA therapy extends beyond your child’s scheduled sessions and into every part of their life. The best way to help your child succeed in this endeavor is to take an active role in every part of their therapy. Mastering ABA techniques as a parent can also improve your parenting techniques with all your children. Though this therapy focuses on helping those with autism, its basic tenants can benefit everyone in the family, creating a more peaceful and stable environment in the home.
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