“Autism: where the “randomness of life” collides and clashes with an individual’s need for the sameness.” – Quote by Eileen Miller
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. Therapist primarily work to 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 his/her 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.
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 which the child is already familiar with. It is universally known that when a person is rewarded for an act, it is most likely that he / she will repeat the behavior / act. With the passage of time, this boosts positive behaviors. As a part of the therapy process, the therapist identifies various learning opportunities. Each time with the person engages in the target behavior they are reinforced for their action. The reinforcement can have different meanings for different persons. For some, it could be a favorite treat, a toy, verbal praise, or indulging in their favorite activity such as watching TV or playing outdoors.
Another behavioral principle of ABA therapy is understanding what happens before a behavior occurs and the impact of the behavior. This in brief is known as ABC (Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequence). For example, a parent tells the child to put away the toys after playtime is over, and he / she refuse. The parent removes them and says “Ok now, the toys are done”.
Antecedent – What happens before the behavior
Behavior – What the person does
Consequence – What happens after the behavior
ABA therapy can be implemented across different settings (i.e. home, school, clinics) and usually conducted in 1:1 format.
ABA helps in understanding the following:
How behavior occur
How the environment impacts the behavior
How we contribute to the onset of others’ behaviors
ABA programs help in the following ways:
Improve language and communication skills
Reduce maladaptive behaviors
Development of social skills
For ABA Therapy in Michigan for a loved one, reach out to Caliber Autism Care today for a free consultation session.