Applied behavior analysis or ABA is one of the most effective therapies to assist individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to improve their social interactions and adjust behaviors. It breaks down desired behaviors, reactions, and responses into three parts: antecedents, target behavior, and consequences. When a therapist, parent, caregiver, or educator uses ABA, they can explore, explain, and alter behaviors to be more productive through positive reinforcement. At Ascend Autism, we embrace ABA therapy across all our autism spectrum disorder treatment programs.
What Is Applied Behavior Analysis?
ABA is designed to teach children through step-by-step lessons to master a particular behavior or alter a current behavioral issue. It is a therapy where parents, caregivers, educators, or counselors can guide a child to the desired response through positive reinforcement. A child’s response moves closer and closer to the desired behavior and away from the undesired one through discrete increments.
By understanding that behavior is shaped by being aware of and understanding the consequences of the actions, ABA’s positive reinforcement encourages and motivates individuals with ASD to repeat a particular action. This action can range from seemingly ordinary acts and tasks to more complex social or communicative interactions.
Providing structured intervention, ABA has been shown to improve children’s conversational and verbal skills with ASD. By breaking behaviors down into smaller components and teaching one component at a time, children build their skills progressively.
Using ABA in the Home and School
There are two major environments for most children where they interact with others regularly–the home and school. Thus, it makes sense to examine how applied behavior analysis can be used in these contexts. In the home, individuals with ASD are usually the most comfortable. Also, family members have a unique insight into the subtle ways a family member with ASD processes information or react to the world around them. Combining this insight with our professional guidance creates the most effective therapeutic strategies. Educating parents and caregivers in ABA through a parental services program is key in helping children with ASD learn and develop.
In school, educators need to learn different techniques to get the outcomes they desire. ABA uses several methods that professionals can easily integrate into any classroom setting—for example, creating a token economy. This motivates learners by reinforcing desired behaviors and discouraging others by providing children with tokens such as stickers, buttons, marbles, a point system, or some other item assigned a value for completing an action or activity. It is an approach that not only encourages specific behaviors but also gives children an impetus to engage with their peers in trading.
Ascend Autism can train parents, caregivers, and educators in using ABA in order to give them the skills needed to support a child with ASD. One way we can do so is through our telehealth services, where ABA therapy is delivered through video conferencing.
Telehealth is a solution for families unable for various reasons (distance or scheduling, for instance) to meet face-to-face or are worried that a clinical setting may not work for their family member with ASD. We can train parents and caregivers and provide ABA therapy while the individual with ASD engages with us in a setting where they are comfortable. Cost-effective and efficient, telehealth is a convenient way to successfully improve communication and other social skills.
Reach out to Ascend Autism at 877.323.8668 for applied behavior analysis tips and more. When diagnosed correctly and early, individuals with ASD can get the treatment necessary not just to learn to cope but excel. We provide caregivers and families the support and resources they need to help individuals with ASD. We offer an array of services and therapies designed to improve:
- Communication Skills
- Social Skills
- Daily Living Skills
Further, our telehealth and parental services help develop age-appropriate adaptive behaviors and assist everyone in the family. We have the experts who can answer your questions and concerns. So, reach out to us at 877.323.8668 or contact us using our easy online form.