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A Quick Guide to ABA Therapy

Published February 1st, 2022 by NYTPS Inc

Did you know that the prevalence of autism in the United States has increased during the past twenty years? Almost 2% of children who are eight years old are diagnosed with autism. 

Unfortunately, it can be confusing to know what you can do for your child. There are many different treatment options out there that focus on changing negative behaviors

ABA therapy is an effective and valuable treatment for treating children with autism. Most times, autism leads to behavioral concerns that affect school and home life. This behavior-based treatment intervention focuses on an individual approach to your child's needs.

If you have an interest in learning more about some ABA therapy tips and what it entails, then keep reading on!

ABA Therapy Guide

ABA stands for applied behavioral analysis. Essentially, it is a therapeutic tool that many healthcare professionals use. Most often, you can find ABA used in treatment options for children with an autism diagnosis

It uses positive reinforcement that encourages good behavior and social interaction. Additionally, it can look at a child's motives and triggers that promote poor behaviors

Types of ABA Therapy

The types of interventions that you can use in ABA include

  • Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
  • Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI)
  • Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)
  • Comprehensive or Focused
  • Natural Environment

How do you know which one can best fit the needs of your child or loved one? Typically, an ABA therapy consultant meets with your child and performs a quick assessment.

Afterward, you can implement different treatment interventions until effective ones shine through. However, EIBI and ESDM are typically used only with young children.

DTT is one of the more common intervention methods that pop up with ABA therapy. It follows three simple observations

  • Cues that trigger behaviors
  • Response
  • Post-response

Following this observation and model, an ABA therapist can reward desired behaviors. Positive reinforcement ensures that negative behaviors are redirected for long-term success

What Can ABA Therapy Treat?

Aside from autism, ABA can also treat a variety of individuals and conditions. These include diagnoses such as

  • Anxiety
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Substance use disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Most research and studies are focused on ABA therapy's impact on children with autism. However, addiction and rehab facilities have also started incorporating ABA therapy.

ABA therapists specialize in behavioral treatment interventions. They typically follow through with a certification that requires a graduate degree. After graduating from an accredited and qualified program, these individuals can obtain licensure.

Qualified specialists now have in-depth and extensive training on behavior interventions. They can treat both children and adults who are dealing with mental illnesses or autism.

Benefits of ABA Therapy

ABA is handy for teaching life skills. This behavioral tool is also unique in that it can be specialized to meet each individual's needs. There is a wide range of adverse symptoms and behaviors with autism, mental illnesses, and substance abuse disorders

ABA therapy's variety gives an individualized approach to treatment. The results show better outcomes and long-term outlooks. Treatments can also teach skills that reduce self-harm

ABA vs CBT

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is another common form of treatment that can be misconstrued as ABA. CBT incorporates more of the 'talk therapy' approach. It uses a person's thought processes for assessing, identifying, and changing behaviors

It is a much broader scope of therapy and is often used in conjunction or separately for treating the same diagnoses as ABA. On the contrary, ABA uses conditioning approaches for behavioral changes

Through this approach, ABA can pinpoint more precisely what behaviors are causing problems. Once a therapist identifies a problematic area, they can use one or multiple treatment plans

Recent Spotlight

ABA has been spotlighted recently for controversial opinions regarding its efficacy. These have mostly revolved around adults with autism. However, modern ABA therapists have argued it is a highly beneficial tool.

Researchers and experts have contradicted these opinions. Instead, they are praising th modern advances of ABA therapy. For this reason, it is still considered a go-to method for pediatric treatments and rehab programs.

Studies on Reinforcement

What are the science and understanding behind positive reinforcement and modifying behaviors? This falls under the category of psychotherapeutic interventions

The initial bones of behavior modification stemmed from elementary studies. Scientists like Skinner and Pavlov looked at removing or adding a stimulus while observing the desired effect

Keep in mind, ABA therapy is not a punishment technique

Punishment works at condemning children for poor behavior. ABA works at reinforcing positive behaviors and not acknowledging poor behaviors. Studies have shown that positive reinforcement works better and faster than punishment

Another study looked at different treatment components of ABA therapy. As they assessed treatment interventions, they used scores that showed their effectiveness. Mainly, the assessments and treatments focused on autism diagnoses

The treatments the researchers focused on included

  • ESDM
  • Picture exchange communication system (PECS)
  • DTT

There were three main areas that researchers noted significant improvements. These areas included were expressive language, communication, and socialization. This was a meta-analysis that looked at multiple studies that used these intervention techniques. 

One particular study stood out to researchers. It showed moderate to very effective improvements in all categories. Additionally, the researchers made note they favored comprehensive approaches. Comprehensive ABA therapy shows better long-term outcomes and prognosis for children.

Parents' roles and engagement in ABA-based interventions also played a critical role. When parents are involved, children are often more receptive.

Find, 'ABA Therapy Near Me'

Have you been searching for credible and reliable ABA therapy programs? A qualified ABA therapist can help your child with behavioral concerns related to autism or other diagnoses

ABA therapy is a successful and evidence-based program. An ABA program can help develop long-term and positive outcomes on behavior and social skills

Visit our website today and refer your child to our qualified staff members.


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