The main goal of ABA therapy is to encourage desirable behaviors and decrease or extinguish negative and harmful behaviors. ABA therapists work with patients of all ages to achieve this goal. However, ABA therapists can only work with patients during therapy sessions. The majority of the work involved in ABA therapy takes place outside of therapy sessions. Children in ABA therapy must also rely on their parents to meet their goals in therapy because parents spend the most time with their children and have the greatest influence on their behavior. It is vital that parents also learn the methods and techniques of ABA therapy to communicate effectively with and teach their children at home.
ABA parent training is essential for the treatment of children in ABA therapy. ABA therapists will assess your child’s level of communication and social skills, as well as behavioral challenges, to develop a treatment plan that you can use to assist your child in those areas. Some examples of skills to work on include communication skills, play skills, motor skills, and more.
Parent training helps parents learn how to respond to—and, thereby, alter—their child’s challenging behaviors. ABA therapists will role-play with parents to practice ABA therapy interventions, such as positive reinforcement and DTT, and offer support and feedback along the way. Some of the ABA teaching strategies focus on reinforcement and consistency. Consistency and routine are vital for the learning environment.
The Parent-Child Relationship
Part of ABA therapy involves strengthening the parent-child relationship. ABA therapists can work with the parents individually to teach important skills, and then they can work with the parents and child together to help reinforce those new skills. It can be challenging to learn new, effective ways to communicate with and teach your child; some may even anger or trigger you simply because they can be different from what you’re used to. Remaining patient, calm, and consistent with your child is an important part of building up the parent-child relationship. ABA therapists are there to give you the emotional support you need as you and your child learn these new life skills.
The parent-child relationship also benefits the relationship between the family and the ABA therapists. The therapists and families can combine their strengths, skills, and resources to proactively achieve positive outcomes for the child.
Goals of ABA Therapy
The goals of ABA therapy will vary from patient to patient, but the main goal is to teach patients skills they need to live a full life. When you begin a relationship with an ABA therapist, it’s important to set clear expectations and goals from the beginning. Children that suffer from symptoms associated with autism, ADHD, OCD, and more will require different skills to achieve the main goal. If your child struggles with social settings, there could be any number of underlying reasons why. Maybe your child has sensory issues and doesn’t like loud noise, or maybe your child struggles with speech and can’t participate in a conversation.
Discovering what the underlying issue is can make it easier to set goals. You can speak with your therapist in a private session about the goals you hope to achieve, or you can participate in group parent training sessions. These sessions will allow you to collaborate with therapists and other parents on setting goals and maintaining consistency.
It is important to communicate clearly with your therapists. If you and the therapists are on the same page about each step of the therapy process, it will be easier to practice different techniques with your child at home.
Collaborating with Parents in ABA Parent Training
Parent training in ABA therapy produces better outcomes for children in ABA therapy. It is important for ABA therapists and therapy centers to collaborate with parents during ABA therapy sessions. Parents usually know the most about their children and their history, and that knowledge is needed to develop accurate goals. Providing this information to your ABA therapist can help develop effective treatment strategies that allow for collaboration and better outcomes.
During the intake session, therapists should make sure parents understand their role in their child’s therapy services. ABA parent training is unique because it is different from most therapy types. Other therapy types do not involve the parents as much as ABA therapy, as ABA is intense, often, and requires parent involvement. ABA therapy sessions are performed 10-40 hours each week because repetition and reinforcement are vital to positive outcomes. Parents should expect to spend several days at the ABA center, and they should be prepared to practice techniques with their child outside of therapy sessions.
Every detail should be discussed before therapy sessions begin. This will save everyone time and will establish great communication.
ABA Parent Training in Texas
If you’re looking for ABA therapy and parent training services in Katy, Texas, visit the Learning Continuum website today!