Monday, November 2, 2009

Introducing Applied Behavioral Analysis for People with Autism

One of the treatment options for people with Autism is Applied Behavioral Analysis or ABA. I know parents who have paid for ABA therapy and spend time doing ABA therapy with their child. They seem to be quite satisfied that their child has been taught to be compliant in the process.

ABA is based on some of the same beliefs as Positive Behavior Supports. The theory is that desirable behaviors can be increased with rewards or in the case of ABA with our reactions. And the reverse undesirable behaviors can be reduced by rewards or reactions.

The behaviors which ABA concentrates on are literacy, educational skills, social skills, communication skills, and daily living skills. The daily living skills includes motor skills, food preparation, personal care, cleaning, time, money, and work skills. ABA uses an individual approach developed for each child. Each skill is taught in very small steps, like dressing might start with putting on socks. ABA is typically done by therapists or trainers and by parents. It is at least a 40 hour week.

Some people are opposed to ABA because they believe it teaches children to respond like a robot. But as I said parents who I know who have learned and taught ABA love it. Another problem with ABA is that because it is so time intensive it tends to cost a lot. Some parents have found tips to help with this problem but even then there are costs involved.

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