ABA Therapy

What Is the Purpose of ABA Therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapy where a child works one-on-one with a therapist to improve social skills using learning techniques. It’s considered the “gold standard” for treating autism and is widely used to help children develop specific skills and reduce problem behaviors. However, some people find it controversial, arguing that it can be disrespectful and dehumanizing. Despite this, many see positive results from its use.

What Are the Uses of ABA Therapy?

ABA is helpful for autistic individuals and those with other developmental disorders since it allows them to acquire skills that would lead to a safer and happier life. It is concerned with educating students about appropriate and useful behaviors that will not hurt someone. Autism therapists help people with autism to learn how to interrelate with others, self-regulate, play, and move.  ABA therapy helps children with autism by providing support in the following ways:

  • Improving social skills such as task completion, communication, and learning
  • Adjusting learning environments to meet specific challenges
  • Encouraging self-control and regulation
  • Helping them apply learned behaviors in different settings
  • Decreasing harmful behaviors like self-harm

Autism is about these kids and their lives – so the idea isn’t to pretend that they don’t have Autism but to improve their daily lives in ways that matter to them. There are various forms of treatments ABA principles state, but what works can vary from person to person.

What Strategies Does ABA Therapy Often Use for Behavior Issues?

In ABA therapy, there are many approaches that may deal with different development phases and objectives. These include:

  • Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI): Developed for children below five years to improve functional skills and communication skills.
  • Early Start Denver Model (ESDM): Deals with the aspects of communication and cognitive abilities in children within the age range of 12 months to 4 years.
  • Natural Environment Teaching (NET): Focuses on language, play, and social skills in real-life situations for children 2-9 years.
  • Joint Attention, Symbolic Play, Engagement & Regulation (JASPER): Improves play and communication for ages 12 months to 8 years.
  • Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT): Uses play and child-led methods to improve communication, self-management, and social behaviors.

ABA therapists develop a close collaboration with the families of the clients. Then they only choose the interventions that will be most appropriate to the child in terms of the child’s strengths, challenges, and family’s goals.

How Does ABA Therapy Work?

ABA is a technique for modifying the behavior of individuals. It is versatile and can easily be used at home, in school, or wherever the child is found to be. ABA is used for the development of useful behavior and social skills.

Positive Reinforcement

In ABA, children are rewarded for their good behaviors by positive reinforcement. If a person does something right, he receives what he wants. This makes them more likely to do the good behavior again. Also, rewards can be verbal appreciation, tangible items, or even interesting activities.

Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence (ABC)

In ABA, therapists look at what happens before a behavior (antecedent), the behavior itself, and what happens after (consequence). This helps them understand why the behavior happens and how to change it.

Practical Example

For instance, if a child gets upset:

  1. Antecedent: They face a difficult task.
  1. Behavior: They start crying or yelling.
  1. Consequence: They might get a break or comfort to calm down.

To teach new behaviors:

  1. Antecedent: The child faces the same task.
  1. Behavior: They ask for help or take deep breaths.
  1. Consequence: They get praised and a small break or different activity.

These methods are applied throughout the process of ABA therapy to teach better behaviors, develop social skills, and live a happier life.

Does Insurance Cover ABA Therapy?

It is important that you ask regarding the coverage of ABA therapy as it varies from insurance to insurance. Most private health insurance policies have a mandate for ABA coverage. However, this depends on the health plan and the state it is located in. To learn more about insurance services for autism, you can visit the insurance resources or talk to their team where you can ask them about insurance coverage or solve other queries.

Where can I get ABA therapy?

To start the process:

  • Always consult the health care provider before considering the suitability of ABA for your special needs.
  • Check on policies and procedures concerning insurance and the importance of the same in funding ABA therapy.
  • Find local ABA therapists through a list of resources or inquire with your child’s teachers or doctors.
  • Get in touch with the ABA provider to set a date and time for the initial assessment and perhaps come up with relevant questions that one has.