22 Feb What are some benefits of ABA?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapeutic approach that is commonly used for young children with autism. ABA therapy is based on the principles of behaviorism, which emphasize the importance of the environment, reinforcement, and consequences in shaping behavior. Here are some of the benefits of ABA therapy for young kids with autism:
- ABA can help teach social skills: ABA therapy can help children with autism learn social skills such as turn-taking, sharing, pretending, and playing with others. ABA therapists work with kids in small groups to help them form friendships with their peers.
ABA can reduce dangerous behavior: Children with autism often engage in “problem” behaviors such as aggression, self-injury, and tantrums. In some cases, these behaviors can become extremely dangerous. In nearly all cases, they cause distress to the autistic person and those around them. ABA therapy can help reduce these dangerous behaviors by teaching children different ways to communicate their feelings, needs, and wants. ABA therapists know what when kids have the ability to communicate and live more independently, they are less likely to engage in dangerous behaviors.
- ABA can increase communication skills: Many children with autism struggle with communication: starting, maintaining, and finishing social interactions. ABA therapy can help children learn to communicate more effectively through the use of visual aids, sign language, and other communication tools. ABA therapists help kids practice social skills in safe and comfortable situations, while slowly fading their support until the child is communicating independently in novel situations in their daily rounds.
- ABA teaches and encourages independence: ABA therapy can help children with autism become more independent by teaching them life skills such as dressing themselves, brushing their teeth, and using the toilet. ABA therapists are always on the lookout for opportunities to fade their support in the moment, to allow kids to be as independent as possible.
- ABA programs are individualized: ABA therapy is highly individualized, tailored to meet the specific needs of each child, and can be adjusted as the child progresses and their needs change. Good ABA programs are also individualized to meet a child’s interests and their need for novelty, play, affection, and excitement. Families are an important part of helping the ABA team ensure that the ABA program is as unique as their child is.
- ABA is supported by decades of research: ABA therapy is a well-researched and evidence-based approach to teaching. Studies have consistently shown that ABA therapy can lead to significant improvements in a range of areas for children with autism.
Overall, ABA therapy can be an effective and beneficial approach for young children with autism. It can help them learn new skills, reduce problem behaviors, and improve their overall quality of life.