Why is Applied Behavior Analysis the Most Effective Therapy Choice?
Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy, ABA for short, has become the leading therapy option for those affected by autism. Because of its widespread popularity in the world of autism therapy, many misconceptions have arisen regarding exactly what ABA is. Here at Autism Home Support Services, we wanted to take some time to go over what ABA actually is and why it has become the leading form of therapy for those with autism.
What is Applied Behavior Analysis?
In the simplest terms, ABA is the application of behavior principles, to everyday applications, that aims to increase or decrease targeted behaviors over time. So while ABA is a form of therapy for those with autism, it is important to remember that there is not a single, set plan that constitutes ABA therapy. Rather, ABA is intended to be molded around the individual receiving the therapy in the hopes that unique, individualized attention will yield positive results in a desired behavioral category. By using evidence based practices to observe the changes in an individual’s behavior, therapists can better understand the core reasons for these behaviors and formulate a plan to modify them in the most beneficial way to the individual.
How Does ABA Work?
To understand how ABA works, it is easiest to provide an example. Johnny, who is now six years old, was diagnosed with autism when he was four. His parents and preschool teachers noticed that Johnny was having a hard time interacting with the other children in his class. Johnny did not like to share his toys, was having a hard time relating to the other children, and was not focusing on the tasks given to him by his teachers. In formulating an ABA therapy plan, Johnny’s therapist and parents identified these behaviors as needing to be modified. They felt that by changing how Johnny reacted in these situations, they could help him learn to better interact with his peers. With these goals in mind, Johnny’s therapist developed a program where she first observed Johnny and took notes regarding his behavior. Over the course of his therapy sessions, Johnny was repeatedly praised and rewarded when he would follow through with tasks and share his toys with the therapist. If he did not do these things, he was not rewarded. Through repeated positive reinforcement, Johnny has learned to share with his classmates, and, more times than not, completed all tasks assigned to him by his teachers.
ABA Takes Time
The above example is a simple view into the world of Applied Behavior Analysis. By positively reinforcing desired behaviors, therapists can help those with autism learn vital social skills needed to lead a healthy and happy life. Here at Autism Home Support Services, we fully believe in the ABA therapy model, and have found it to be the most effective way to help those with autism. To learn more about our programs or to schedule a meeting with one of our therapists, explore our website today!