If you’re new to the special needs community, you may be wondering, “What is ABA therapy?” and “Can it help my child?” If you have a kiddo with a new autism diagnosis, you’ve probably come across the term applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy as you’re doing your research. Here, we’ll talk a little bit more about what ABA therapy is and how it can benefit both your child and your family.
ABA Therapy is the Scientific Approach to Modifying Behavior
Applied behavior analysis therapy can be used to modify behavior, improve social interactions, and facilitate learning. ABA takes an evidence-based approach, rooted in the scientific method, and it can be used to develop basic skills—such as listening and imitating—as well as more complex skills, like reading and conversing. ABA therapy can also decrease behaviors that interfere with learning.
ABA therapy works from the concept that behavior is acquired through interactions with the environment, and that changes in the environment can positively shape a behavior. While many children learn naturally from their environment without intervention, children with learning or developmental issues may need more structure to acquire the same fundamental skills. ABA sets up this type of environment for them, in essence teaching children how to learn.
In ABA therapy, complex skills are often broken down into a series of small steps to allow a client to learn a skill in stages. ABA therapy can also be used to reduce and replace problem behaviors, such as self-injury or aggression, with more appropriate behaviors.
ABA Therapy Can Benefit People of All Ages with a Variety of Learning Styles
ABA therapy is often considered the gold-standard for helping individuals with Autism, developmental disabilities, and behavior issues to master new skills and decrease problem behaviors. ABA programs have successfully worked for people of all ages—with and without disabilities.
However, ABA therapy is most impactful when children are young. Research has shown that children who participated in early, intensive ABA programs often acquired skills that allowed them to participate in more mainstream classrooms with little or no ongoing help and improved their quality of life.
At Innovative Behavior Options, we partner with families to develop individualized behavior programs to help our clients reach their highest potential. We offer center-based ABA at our Roswell therapy center and in-home ABA services throughout the Atlanta metro area. To learn more about the services we offer and our approach to ABA therapy, give us a call at 770-250-0093.