Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy, known as ABA Therapy, is a type of therapy for autism that helps reinforce desired behaviors and discourages undesirable behaviors. Therapists use rewards to encourage communication, language, and other skills to help people with autism live a full life. ABA therapy can be done in several ways, depending on the patient’s age and therapy goals.
Some of the types of ABA therapy are:
- Discrete Trial Training
- Pivotal Response Training
- Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention
Discrete Trial Training (DTT) breaks down lessons into simple tasks. This method is much like a ladder: Therapists work with the patient on one task, then work upward until they achieve the skill. Each task is rewarded with positive reinforcement for desirable behavior.
This method was first applied to autism by Dr. Ivar Lavaas. His idea was that behavioral symptoms of autism could be modified or “extinguished” with reinforcement. Back then, ABA included punishments for negative behaviors, but in modern times, punishments are considered morally unacceptable. ABA therapists only use positive reinforcement for desired behavior. They teach kids how to cope with challenges and do not provide a reward for undesirable behaviors, which encourages patients to want to change.
ABA therapy is not, and never has been, a cure for autism. The goal of ABA therapy is to help patients with autism live a fully independent life. This is what most parents want for their children, and ABA therapy may be the solution.
How ABA Therapy Works
What Does an ABA Program Involve?
The goal of any ABA therapy program is to help each person work on skills that encourage independence and success. ABA therapy is not a one-size-fits-all method, as some patients will show remarkable changes, while others show gradual improvement over a longer period of time. The results show that ABA therapy does work.
Treatment goals will be determined by a trained behavior analyst. Behavior analysts use a detailed assessment to determine exactly what skills the patient already has. The assessment will help the analyst write realistic goals that work for the patient and their family.
Some of the goals involved in ABA therapy are:
- Social skills
- Self-care Skills
- Play Skills
- Motor Skills
- Academic Skills
ABA therapists will work on these goals one-on-one with the patient, utilizing some of the methods mentioned above to do so. The patient will have many opportunities to learn and practice these new skills each day, which is the best part of ABA therapy. ABA therapy is effective for patients with autism at any age. It can be used for children and adults alike.
Timeline of ABA Therapy
Evidence that ABA Therapy Works
ABA therapy is a Great Treatment Option for people with autism. It is an evidence-based practice that has shown significant results in patients. ABA therapy is the best way to teach patients with autism the skills they need to live a full and independent life!