Using ABA Therapy to Help Autistic Children Reduce Bad Behaviors and Improve Social Interactions
If you know or have a child that is Autistic, they may benefit from Applied Behavioral Analysis. This is known as one of the best types of therapy available for those who struggle with Autism or Aspergers disorder. It is based on behavioral theories. It utilizes principles of behavior and setting goals to carefully measure the results of this therapeutic practice. It teaches that all behaviors have a consequence.
Older Concepts With New Ideas
We have used rewards and consequences since the beginning of human interaction. The difference with Applied Behavioral Analysis is you are trying to reach specific goals in a newer way of teaching it. Every behavior has a consequence, whether it is a good or bad behavior and aba services miami fl can help your child learn and grow as a person in an effective manner.
Where ABA Began
In 1987, a behavioral psychologist named Dr. Ivar Lovaas started to apply ABA in his practice while working in the psychology department of UCLA. His thoughts were that children with autism could be taught social and behavioral skills regardless of the level of autism that they have using the principles of ABA. He believes that autism is able to be corrected to a degree through this method of teaching. He stated that when an observer sees an Autistic child improving than the Autistic behaviors have been treated effectively.
Modified Over Time
When ABA was first in its infancy, some critics thought that it was a bit harsh. When a child did not comply, they were punished. In the last 30 years however, it has been modified greatly from being punished to taking away rewards when a child had a bad behavior. For Instance, when a child does not respond to a request, they will not get a reward. You take something away to get the child to correct the behavior. An example would be if a child is acting out, a possible consequence could be taking away the television for a set period of time. This is known as withholding a reward. It may be criticized by some, but some children over time and with a lot of therapy, lose many of their undesirable behaviors. Whether the child is actually cured or not remains up to question.
Reduce Unwanted Behaviors and Increase Good Behaviors
Since the initiation of ABA, it has been varied over time. Every therapist has a slightly different approach to therapy and utilizes their own unique skill set to work with a child. When you bring different psychologists ideas together, you come up with a better overall therapy plan than one person alone. Lovaas’s ideas started these practices and he is credited for inventing it, it has just become much better with time. Therapist now also work on social skills and emotion regulation as well as a behavioral modification these days.
ABA works on helping to have less outbursts and fits of rage as well as helping a child to calmly learn how to sit quietly. It can also teach a child how to ask for what they need and how to make specific requests. Both easy and more difficult skills are taught and rewards are given for good behavior. Overall, it is the “gold standard” in Autism therapy.