If you have a child with autism, you understand that there are a variety of factors that lead to unwanted behavior. From frustration trying to perform what seem like menial tasks to irritability from a lack of sleep, it’s all very common and you’re not in it alone. At Compass, our ABA Therapists(BCBAs, BCaBAs, RBTs, QASP-S) can help to find ways to help you and your child prevent these behaviors. Keep reading to learn about the approach we take to therapy for children with autism.
Applied behavioral analysis, or ABA, therapy has shown to be an effective method to understand behavior, how it’s affected by the environment, how learning takes place, and what can be done to quell unwanted behavior. Our ABA Therapists can effectively apply the principles of ABA therapy to help you and your child with behavior.
In children with autism, behavior issues often stem from frustration in a few areas that include:
- Communication issues
- An inability to focus
- Poor social skills
With the help of ABA therapy, your child can improve in these aspects of life and minimize behaviors.
Improving communication and language skills is a big part of ABA therapy. Whether your child is considered non-verbal or is struggling to learn to communicate, this therapy will focus directly on improving those skills by doing things like learning how to label objects or activities. When learning to label, patients are taught to ask for specific items or activities that they would like. This could be as simple as a one- or two-word label for a preferred activity. An example would be a child calling their favorite movie by the first word or letter of the title or even identifying a character on the cover. However the label is used, it’s an effective method of communication, which will decrease unwanted behavior and frustration.
It’s not uncommon for issues with focus and memory to co-exist with autism. Many children will want to bounce from one activity to another often. In contrast, it’s not uncommon for children to hyper-focus on a task and tune out the rest of the world around them. ABA therapy can help with both ends of the spectrum. There are specific aspects of therapy that are designed to get patients out of their comfort zone and learn how to handle distraction. If a child is hyper-focused on an activity like lining up toys and is particular about how it’s performed, a therapist might start slowly throw off the routine by moving a toy in the line. The next step could be taking a toy out of line. This will help the child to learn how to break their intense focus and handle a little bit of disorder at a time.
Improve social skills
Children with autism, especially in severe cases, can struggle in social situations. This can be because the situation doesn't go according to how they want. For example, a child with autism might feel that a specific should only be played with one way. If another child comes to play with that same toy the “wrong” way, it could lead to a confrontation. With ABA therapy, they’ll have chances to learn in a safe and controlled environment that this isn’t how things work. Our ABA Therapists will help them learn new ways to adapt to a situation that’s out of their control.
Contact us for help
Our clinicians have been trained in therapy methods that are meant to specifically help children with autism. At Compass, we specifically utilize ABA therapy and its methods to help our patients learn how to effectively communicate, focus, and socialize. Reach out to our nearby therapy center to see how we can help prevent unwanted behavior in your child with autism.