Genetics and environmental factors may have contributed to your child's autism diagnosis. Poorly-developed social skills, frequent tantrums, and a refusal to follow directions could interfere with your loved one's education and ability to interact with others. ABA (applied behavior analysis) therapy uses a cause and effect principle and a reward system to strengthen learning and communication skills.
Any interactions between a therapist and a child will be conducted in a supportive environment. An initial assessment will include a one-on-one meeting with a parent or guardian and an observation session that involves monitoring a child and attempting to interact with them.
An assessment can be conducted at a child's residence or in a public setting, such as a classroom. In some circumstances, a therapist may choose to conduct an assessment in both a home and public setting. By doing so, they will get to observe how a child interacts with their parents, teacher, and peers.
If your child exhibits negative behavior in school or tends to become withdrawn when spending time around others, a therapist may be able to uncover some triggers that contribute to your loved one's behavior. Conducting a thorough assessment will help a therapist devise a targeted treatment regimen that will focus on the areas that your child needs to improve upon.
Applied behavior analysis therapy is used to treat behavioral issues associated with autism and issues that are associated with other mental or behavioral disorders. If you decide to use this type of therapy to aid your child, your loved one will meet with their therapist several times a week.
Practicing daily rituals, such as brushing teeth and getting dressed, will help your child learn some basic self-care techniques. The therapist may guide your child through each self-care technique until they are able to perform the tasks on their own.
If listening to an authority figure tends to be something that your child struggles with, the therapist may use visual imagery or mock situational reenactments to teach your child the proper way to respond to you, their teacher, or another guardian who they spend time with.
Positive reinforcement will be provided if your child responds in a positive manner during one-on-one interactions or group discussions. Stickers, a snack, kind words, or another small reward may be given to your child whenever they exhibit positive behavior. If your child doesn't respond in a positive manner, their therapist will not provide a reward and will continue to reinforce the behavior that they would like your child to display. Contact an ABA therapy service for more info.