When your child receives an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis, it is important to learn everything about Autism and make informed decisions that are in the best interest of your family.
Choosing an evidence-based therapy, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)will set you up in the right direction to ensure that your child with Autism succeeds in life.
The sooner you start therapy and Autism early intervention, the greater the chances of completely erasing your child’s symptoms of ASD.
Getting involved in the therapy and actively practicing the ABA principles in everyday life beyond the formal therapy sessions is another important aspect that will benefit your entire family.
Knowing the triggers of your child’s challenging behaviors and what elicits a positive response will help you troubleshoot or prevent problems by modifying the situations that cause difficulties.
The expert ABA therapists at AB Spectrum throw some light on how you can help your child with Autism thrive.
Kids with ASD tend to do well when they know what to expect on a day to day or even hour to hour basis. Hence, ensuring predictable schedules and structured days is one of the best things that you can do for your child with Autism. Occasionally, there could be some disruptions in their routine. They could come in many forms, such as a change in your job, an unwell family member, an extended break for the holidays, or the rapidly evolving situations related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some tips to help your child with ASD thrive in normal as well as exceptional routines.
Provide Structure Maintain Uniformity: Children with ASD have a hard time applying their learnings between different settings such as classrooms and home. Be consistent in your ways of interacting with the child or dealing with their challenging behaviors by extending the techniques from the formal ABA therapy sessions to your home. Keep to a Schedule: Children with Autism need and crave a predictable routine. As far as possible, create a fixed schedule for schoolwork, meals, bedtime, screen time, and so on. If you foresee any potential disruptions to the routine, prepare your child for the changes in advance.
Establish a Safe Zone: Use visual cues, such as markers, colored tapes, paints, or other such items to draw boundaries and prepare a spot that your child identifies as a comfort zone. This safe space will help the child with ASD relax, feel secure, and press the reset button, whenever needed.
Become the Expert on Your Child Pick up on Non-verbal Cues: When children with ASD act out, it is usually out of frustration that you are not picking up on their non-verbal cues. Pay attention to your child’s facial expressions, gestures, body language, or the sounds they make. Try to correlate these actions to whether they are tired, hungry, not feeling well, or want something in particular. Pay Attention to Sensitivities: Often, children with ASD are hypersensitive to certain things, such as light, touch, or a particular smell, taste, or sound. Take the time to understand which aspects your child finds stressful, uncomfortable, calming or enjoyable. This will help you prevent situations that trigger challenging behaviors and promote experiences that elicit a positive response.
Create Rules and Backup Plans The option B Approach: Teach your child the concept of ‘option A’ and ‘option B’ and talk to them about backup plans. When there are any unforeseen circumstances that lead to a change in the schedule, the backup plan approach will help your child get a better grip on the sudden changes in their routine. It will also help in reducing any problem behaviors associated with ‘change in plans’. Implement Rules with Visual Cues: Whether it is vacation time or the usual school routine, create rules for everything. This includes chores, such as making their bed, brushing teeth, getting dressed, cleaning their room, doing homework, and so on. Include specific time slots for reading, TV watching, indoor or outdoor play, hobbies and more. Use creative materials and ideas, and involve your child with ASD in the process of preparing the charts or other cues.
Ensure there is More to Life than Therapy Make Fun a Priority: No matter what the disruptions in the schedule, find ways to have fun together with your child. Learn what activities make your child laugh, or smile, or come out of their shell, and make such type of play an essential part of your schedule. Start New Traditions: Celebrate milestones by starting new traditions. Whether it is the beginning or end of a school year, or a summer or winter break, plan an activity that you can repeat year after year. It could be a family picnic, movie watching, dining at a favorite restaurant, adding to a set of toys/ games collection, or any other special activity to mark the occasion and create positive and memorable experiences.
At Autism and Behavior Spectrum (AB Spectrum), we create personalized Autism treatment plans using the Reggio Emilia ABA therapy approach. Our structured programs aim to improve the child’s function and independence by building their communication, motor skills, social skills, self-care abilities, and other critical life skills. We focus on reducing challenging behaviors and encouraging desirable behaviors through ABA-based positive reinforcement techniques.
Our team of qualified Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs)prepare personalized ABA therapy sessions for your child with Autism by:
Observing Strengths and Weaknesses: What are the typical triggers for your child’s good and bad behaviors?
Evaluating Learning Abilities: Does your child learn best through listening, seeing, or doing?
Deciding Critical Interventions: Which behaviors are causing the most problems? What are the most essential skills that the child lacks?
Building Therapy Effectiveness: What activities does the child enjoy the most? How to incorporate them in the therapy plans to bolster the child’s learning and boost the session quality?
Our ABA therapy programs and services cater to families in the St. Louis area of Missouri. We offer clinic-based sessions (in Chesterfield and St. Charles, Missouri), in-home options, as well as combination plans for ABA therapy to treat children with Autism.
Get Autism early intervention tips and suggestions and help your child with ASD thrive. Call 314.648.2687 to speak to the ABA therapy experts at AB Spectrum or book a no-fee consultation at one of our Autism treatment clinics near you.