What You Should Know About Applied Behavior Analysis

Children with autism face many challenges in society and life. These individuals may experience sensory issues, difficulty sleeping and unstable moods. They may have physical challenges and experience difficulty with executive functions and daily activities. This is what you should know about Applied Behavior Analysis therapy.

What is ABA

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy uses learning and behavioral sciences to teach individuals diagnosed with autism life skills. They learn to live more fulfilling lives by gaining communication, social, hygiene and leisure skills while their motor capabilities improve. The goal of these therapies is an improved life not the appearance of normalcy.

ABA Focuses on Behavioral Triggers and Consequences

Therapists walk patients through the causes of certain behaviors and the consequences of their actions. They want to help them understand what sets them off or causes them to behave in specific ways. Sometimes, these individuals do not react at all, while other times they behave in unexpected and unproductive ways.

When therapists recognize these behaviors, they provide a consequence. If the behavior is poor or unacceptable, these professionals avoid any action or consequence, but if the behavior is appropriate or desired, they provide positive reinforcement.

This Therapy Uses Positive Reinforcement

One key aspect of ABA Therapy is positive reinforcement. When these professionals give rewards, even if it is just words of encouragement, they encourage their patients to repeat the behavior. However, the reward needs to be meaningful. Therefore, therapists need to find what motivates each patient.

It’s Customized for Patients

Like many behavioral science initiatives, therapists customize ABA treatments for each patient. The process starts with a patient assessment. Then, the therapist will create a customized plan. These professionals then monitor their patients’ progress through additional assessments and adjust the plan based on their achievements and challenges.

Parents with children who have autism diagnoses should research the available therapies and choose those that best meet their children’s needs.