Updated: Dec 22, 2020
As a therapeutic strategy with extensive evidence and scientific backing, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the gold-standard for treating children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Developed in the 1960s and 70s by psychologist Ivar Lovaas and Robert Koegel at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), ABA therapy has gone through some adjustments and modifications to evolve into its current form.
Essentially, ABA therapy is a combination of customizable techniques and interventions that use positive reinforcement to teach new skills and modify behaviors in children with Autism. Choosing ABA therapy for your child would mean improving the quality of life of the entire family. With active involvement in therapy, you can help your child generalize the learnings from the formal therapy sessions and apply them to real-life situations and experiences. In fact, studies suggest that early diagnosis and intensive ABA therapy for an average of 40 hours a week can help your child in completely overcoming their ASD diagnosis.
Despite its many advantages and positive results, anecdotal reports or inaccurate information on the internet often takes away from the true potential of ABA therapy. The expert ABA practitioners at AB Spectrum offer useful insights into the benefits of ABA therapy for children with Autism.
ABA therapy is all about enhancing your child’s function and independence and setting them up for success in life. The ultimate goal of ABA therapy is to help the child behave and function in a more neurotypical manner to assimilate better in society.
Here are some of the benefits of ABA therapy in treating children with ASD:
ABA Improves Social Skills: Children with Autism often lack the social skills needed to make friends or get along with peers. Whether it is about appropriate eye contact, waiting for their turn, sharing toys, initiating conversations, or identifying and responding to social cues, ABA works wonders in teaching the child how to make connections with others. From the ability to return a smile, to making friends and having playdates or sleepovers, ABA therapy allows children with ASD to truly enjoy their childhood despite their limitations. While non-verbal children may not progress to the degree that higher functioning children do, ABA therapy will certainly improve their overall social interaction.
ABA Promotes Better Parenting: Parenting a child with ASD requires you to get a deeper understanding of your child’s traits and behaviors, especially when they are in distress and cannot communicate like typically developing children. Since ABA is a highly-customizable program, the therapist designs a structured treatment plan that caters to your child’s unique needs and developmental goals. Being actively involved in this plan and imbibing the tailor-made ABA-based techniques can be extremely empowering for you and highly beneficial for your child: It offers innovative parenting solutions that help you interact with your child more effectively and gainfully. It will improve your child’s ability to retain and generalize the skills learned in formal therapy sessions across other people and contexts in day-to-day situations.
ABA Enhances Independent Living Skills: Children with ASD may need a helping hand in developing basic and essential life skills. This includes self-care and self-grooming aspects, such as brushing, using the bathroom, getting dressed, sleeping through the night, and more. As part of therapy, the ABA specialist collects data, notes behavioral patterns, and designs specific interventions to encourage desired behaviors. This in turn boosts the child’s ability to follow instructions, as well as become more independent.
ABA Increases Life Satisfaction: The beauty of a well-designed ABA curriculum is the visible improvements in your child’s abilities and behaviors, including things that you never imagined possible before beginning therapy. These improvements go a long way in dismissing the low expectations of the people around your child, including the teachers, family members, and other professionals. ABA therapy allows you to set the bar high, realize your child’s true potential, and set them up for success in life. Moreover, the child’s enhanced function and independence will make them, as well as you feel more empowered and satisfied due to the improved quality of life.
ABA is Effective, It Works! There is more empirical evidence supporting ABA therapy than any other treatment for Autism. Over 40 years of research and clinical framework proves that adopting an intense and long-term approach to ABA therapy can help children with ASD assimilate better in society and improve the everyday lives of the entire family.
At AB Spectrum, we specialize in Applied Behavior Analysis therapy for children with ASD. With Autism treatment centers in St. Charles and Chesterfield, Missouri, as well as in-home ABA therapy options throughout the St. Louis area of Missouri, we cater to the unique needs of families dealing with Autism.
Our team consists of qualified and experienced Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs). We use the Reggio Emilia ABA therapy approach to create customized ABA therapy plans for children.
Our flexible, high-impact, ABA-based programs and interventions aim to:
Develop your child’s social, verbal, cognitive, and motor skills
Teach your child critical life skills and essential self-care, including grooming, toileting, and such
Equip your child with self-monitoring and self-control techniques to reduce challenging or interfering behaviors
Schedule a free initial consultation at one of our ABA therapy centers near you or speak to our ABA therapy specialists at 314-339-7732 to learn more about our programs.