For parents of a child with autism, finding a treatment program that covers a wide range of issues that their child deals with can be difficult. Each case is different, as there is no set of behaviors that applies to every autistic child. Applied Behavioral Analysis, or ABA, is a treatment for autism that has come as a blessing for many families. Applied Behavioral Analysis treatment is based on a plan of teaching desired behaviors and eliminating negative ones by implementing a system of rewards and consequences.
Extensive testing has indicated that ABA therapy is successful in cases where most other forms of treatment have failed. While ABA therapy can be effectively introduced at any age, researchers have found it to have the most beneficial long-term effects when started at a young age. In cases where an autism diagnosis may not come until the child is older, experts agree that implementing this type of treatment at the first sign of behavioral issues provides the best results. Having a plan in place at the onset of behavior problems, even in the absence of an “official” diagnosis, will be helpful to the child presently and in the long run.
There are a number of reasons to do so, but experts agree that these are the top 8 benefits to getting ABA therapy for your autistic child
1. ABA therapy allows the child to develop to his full potential. By learning how to effectively interact with the world, the child’s quality of life will improve exponentially.
2. ABA therapy will prepare the child for life as an independent adult. Let’s face it, no matter how much we love our children and want to always be there for them, our time in this world is limited. One of the greatest gifts we can ever give them is the ability to be self-sufficient.
3. Utilizing ABA therapy also helps parents to be able to respond in a positive and appropriate manner to their child’s behaviors. By making this type of therapy routine, responding to any situation will ensure a proper and beneficial reaction and allow the parent to remain in control.
4. The rewards and consequences structure of ABA therapy allows parents and other caregivers to provide consistent motivation to the child. Rather than having different and often confusing plans of action, ABA therapy allows everyone involved in the child’s life in an authoritative capacity to be on the same page when it comes to dealing with the child’s condition and behaviors.
5. ABA therapy helps the child develop beneficial social skills. Making friends and forming other types of social relationships is essential to healthy mental and emotional development.
6. The positive skills taught via ABA therapy will help the child to avoid feelings of inadequacy. By being able to behave and interact socially, the child will avoid feeling as though he is somehow “not good enough” or not smart enough to be a contributing member of society.
7. ABA therapy, along with parental encouragement, has been shown to help children with autism to be able to sleep through the night for more restful results for everyone. It has also shown some positive effects in relation to toilet training.
8. ABA therapy is a way that parents can be sure they are being effective and truly helping their child to reach his full potential. The research is there to prove that ADA therapy works. It takes the guesswork out of deciding how to best deal with the child’s condition.
Every child is unique. Every family dynamic is different. Finding a treatment option such as ABA therapy can make all the difference when the family’s peace of mind depends on making the most beneficial decision for an autistic child.