“Autism is part of my child. It’s not everything he is. My child is so much more than a diagnosis.” - Quote by S.L. Coelho, Canadian author.
Autism is a developmental disorder that presents itself in a wide range of conditions. The spectrum includes challenges in a social context, communication with others, and behavior. Autism is a broad based disorder with each person having their own unique set of challenges, issues, strengths, weaknesses, and conditions. It is different for each individual on the spectrum. Science is yet to understand the causes of this disorder, though certain risk factors have come to the fore such as family history, being born with less weight .
The earliest signs of Autism that can be seen in young children are:
· Avoiding eye contact
· Repetitive actions / behaviors such as spinning or rocking
· Intense reactions to noises, smells, tastes, etc.
· Not responding to their name
· Challenges with social skills
· Minimal to no cooing, body language, gestures, or facial expressions
Even though symptoms of ASD manifest themselves at a very early age, some individuals get diagnosed as adults. The earlier the disorder is diagnosed, the earlier support and therapy can start that will put the individual on the road to semi – independent or even independent life.
Applied Behavior Analytic (ABA) Therapy is an evidence-based treatment by the US Surgeon General and by the American Psychological Association. ABA therapy is a therapeutic approach that focuses on modifying socially significant behaviors through the use of the principles of behavior. The therapist primarily works on increasing functional and adaptive skills and decreasing maladaptive or undesirable behaviors. Research has shown that ABA therapy is an effective treatment for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as other co-morbid developmental disorders. As each human being is unique in their own way, therefore the ABA therapy is tailored by the concerned team to meet the needs of each child, leading to constructive changes over a period of time.
Its two leading principles are:
1. Reinforcement is one of the behavioral principles of ABA. It is used to teach new skills as well as increase the frequency of some functional skills that the child is already familiar with.
2. Another behavioral principle of ABA therapy understands what happens before a behavior occurs and the impact of the behavior. This in brief is known as ABC (Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequence).
Antecedent – What happens before the behavior Behavior – What the person does
Consequence– What happens after the behavior
ABA therapy assists in the following ways:
· Improve language and communication skills
· Minimize maladaptive behaviors
· Development of social skills
ABA helps in understanding the following:
· How behavior occurs
· How the environment impacts the behavior
· How we contribute to the onset of others’ behaviors
ABA is available in the following settings:
· At home, in the privacy and comfort of your homes
· In centers specifically run for ASD / development disorders
· Public schools
For ABA Therapy in Michigan for your child, reach out to Caliber Autism Care today for a free consultation session with an experienced therapist.