What can you expect from ABA therapy for autism as a parent? ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy is a treatment for those with autism spectrum disorder based on proven scientific evidence. Rather than trying to change one’s personality or fit people into categories, it simply gives children alternatives to certain behaviors so that they can go out in the world with more confidence.
What’s the Aim of ABA Therapy?
If your child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ABA therapy will help them to cope in the world. It’s a positive treatment designed to make your child feel happy and more comfortable in the world around them, and it’s definitely not designed to change them!
A child with ASD (including Asperger’s Syndrome and other developmental disabilities) doesn’t need to be cured; just helped, and that’s what this ABA therapy does.
Find out more about ABA and why it’s a great option if you’re looking for autism therapy in our other article on the topic: What Is ABA Therapy?
What Parents Can Expect From ABA Therapy
As a parent, you’re going to be crucial in the effectiveness of your child’s ABA therapy. You’ll be at many therapy sessions and will be encouraged to join in and interact with your child throughout. In fact, you’ll have to learn everything so that you can reinforce the practices outside of the sessions.
This consistent reinforcement is key to helping your child improve quickly and creating a lasting effect. The behaviors they’re learning in ABA therapy will quickly become a normal part of their lives with your help. Don’t worry if that sounds like a lot to take on. You’ll get plenty of help from your Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Registered Behavior Technician (RBT).
How Soon Will You See Improvements?
The more time your child can spend in ABA therapy, the quicker they’ll improve. Each treatment plan is different, but you can expect 10 hours to 30 hours of therapy per week.
It’s important to remember that every child is different, so there really is no fixed answer to how quickly they’ll progress. Some children benefit from a few months of ABA therapy, while others need a few years to achieve results. We will help you track and monitor your child’s improvements to ensure they’re moving in the right direction!
ABA therapy is backed by a number of certified health organizations, including the American Psychological Association. And it’s been shown to work time and time again.
If the client doesn’t respond to therapy, our autism treatment therapists can change the treatment plan and make sure goals are on target!
Early intervention is recommended for the best results. However, our autism therapists have experience across the autism spectrum and working can work with all ages—children, teens and adults.
What About Parent Training for ABA Therapy?
There’s plenty of parent training involved in ABA therapy! We want you to become an expert on implementing the techniques and methods we use to help your child create more positive behaviors. With your help, your child will start to demonstrate their newly learned skills outside of the therapy environment, such as at school or at home.
The training you receive during ABA therapy will help you deal with your child’s unwanted behavior in a calm, educated manner. You’ll understand autism better and feel more equipped to help. Licensed and trained ABA professionals will teach you a variety of strategies that you can use out in the world in everyday situations, empowering you in your role as a parent.
Is ABA Therapy a Standalone Treatment?
ABA therapy is considered the most effective treatment for ASD, and it might be the only treatment your child needs. But there are other treatments out there that can complement ABA if you think your child more support.
ABA therapy is a behavior-based therapy. Other therapies that aren’t as behavior-focused can help to make ABA therapy more effective and give your child as many tools as possible to cope in the world. For example, many autistic children benefit from speech-language therapy, social skills training, and education-based therapies at school.
If your child is already doing ABA therapy and you’re thinking of looking into additional treatments, it’s a good idea to talk to your ABA therapists. They can help recommend therapies that are best suited for your child’s needs and will complement the work they’re already doing.
Can ABA Therapy Be Done at Home?
Definitely! In fact, a lot of parents prefer in-home ABA therapy rather than at treatment-center based. . By staying home, you can reduce travel time to make your sessions easier to fit into your daily routine and keep your child in a familiar environment.
ABA therapy at home also has the advantages of dealing with the issues where they occur. Your ABA therapist can witness your challenges firsthand and give you tailored solutions to help modify your child’s behavior. If you can’t come in for ABA therapy, don’t worry; it can be more effective in your home!
Interacting With Your Registered Behavior Technician
You will likely work with the same Registered Behavior Technician throughout your child’s ABA therapy, so you’ll get to know them very well! At ABA Centers, we have a team of RBTs that are friendly, knowledgeable and supportive, making them easy to work with. Remember, you and your ABA therapists are going to be a team during therapy.
It’s important to be entirely honest with your ABA therapists. They’re used to dealing with all sorts of different children and won’t ever judge the behavior of yours. They know that ASD can present a number of challenges both for you and your child. They’re here to help you, so make sure you open up about the difficulties you face.
You also need to let your RBT take the lead, which can be tough as a parent! But they have years of experience working with children with ASD and know what’s best for them in the long term. It might be a little strange at first but letting your RBT have control of the sessions and work with your child independently is important to their progress.
You’ll spend lots of time with your RBT, and they’ll quickly become a super supportive part of your family life. Lean on their shoulder, cry with them and let them be there to support you and your family; it’s what they do, and they’ll be happy to help you.
A Day in ABA Therapy
ABA therapy is fun and exciting, and your child will soon look forward to their sessions! We make sure that it’s a positive experience for them and for you, which always speeds up progress.
Your sessions will usually last from one to several hours at a time. They can either be in a center or at your home, depending on what works best for your family. The first couple of sessions will all be about getting to know your ABA therapists and making sure your child bonds with them. There will be a lot of playtime and fun!
Once your child is comfortable, the work will start. Your RBT will gently introduce some requests of your child and use positive reinforcement to increase or decrease targeted behaviors.
The programs can be done at a table, designated working area or in the natural environment. As a parent, you’ll be there the whole time and will often be encouraged to join in with activities and to receive training yourself. At the end of sessions, your RBT will record the progress made, review it with the BCBA and new goals will be set to keep your child moving forward.
Start Helping Your Child With ABA Therapy
If you have a child or family member with autism spectrum disorder, ABA therapy might be just what they need to lead a more fulfilling life. By helping them develop positive behaviors, teaching strategies to reinforce them and introducing new skills into their lives, you can watch them flourish!
If you’d like to learn more about ABA therapy or start your child’s own journey, be sure to get in touch with our team at ABA Centers of America today. We’re always happy to help!