What is ABA Therapy?

Photo: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy SessionIf you have a child with autism or another condition that requires special attention, you’ve probably come across the concept of applied behavior analysis
(ABA), but do you know what it is? It is an intervention approach that is gaining traction in Houston and other communities, because it offers the individualized education that so many children need.

One in every 68 children in this country is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and that number continues to rise. If your child or someone else you love is on the spectrum, isn’t it time you learned more about ABA therapy?

What is ABA?

Applied behavior analysis is a scientifically validated approach to connecting behaviors with the environment, both physical and social. Put simply, it focuses on what a student actually does instead of what they are expected to do..

ABA looks at what a person does instead of what they might do and uses that knowledge to identify relationships between behavior and different aspects of the environment. For example, an autistic child may have a meltdown when asked to perform a specific task. An applied behavior analyst identifies the task, connects it to the behavior, screaming and kicking, and then creates a learning process based on it.

ABA is recognized as a safe and effective intervention for those with autism and endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General. Teaching children with autism is challenging because this condition comes with so many different variables.

The goal with any ABA structured therapy is to promote positive behavior, but since no two people are alike, it requires individual assessment and observation. With a functional assessment, a behavior analyst identifies problem areas and creates goals that are implemented by educators and family members at the same time. That continuous reinforcement works to change behavior and encourage success.

What are the Benefits of ABA?

ABA applies an individualized plan based on behavior analysis. With it, you foster:

– Better communication

– Listening skills

– Imitation

It even promotes complex learning skills such as:

– Reading

– Writing

– Vocalization

– Comprehension

ABA allows parents and teachers to:

– Manage consequences that occur with certain behaviors like rewarding positive achievements when they happen to reinforce them.

– Find ways to promote positive behavior and minimize negative triggers.

– Apply teaching practices that encourage individual success instead of reinforcing failure.

ABA techniques encourage strong social relationships, play, self-care and active participation in all activities. It is a practice that all age groups respond well too, and it works for both home and school activities. Autistic children are able to learn practical skills that are structured and even adapt to unstructured scenarios.

The key is to break the “one-size-fits-all” education model and created customized intervention plans. That is the basis of applied behavior therapy and why it is a practical approach for children who need a targeted program. Find out more about ABA opportunities near Houston and how this individualized approach can work for your family by calling us or filling out the contact form so we can call you.