It can feel overwhelming when you learn that your child has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). After all, as a parent, you only want what’s best for your kids. The good news is that there are treatments available which can help people with ASD overcome challenges to live happy, successful lives. The odds are good that when you search for treatment for children with autism, one of the most common phrases you’ll see appear is ABA therapy.
So What is ABA Therapy?
ABA therapy (also known as Applied Behavioral Analysis) is an evidence-based approach. This means the therapy has decades of research backing it up to prove its effectiveness with supporting neuroatypical children. Most (but not all) children with Autism Spectrum Disorder see improved outcomes after regular treatment. The method, which should be administered by trained personnel, incorporates positive reinforcement to teach children life skills by breaking down tasks into their simplest components. ABA therapy can also help kids tackle problem behaviors, develop social skills, and improve communication. Your child’s unique personality and strengths won’t go anywhere. Instead, the program teaches kids how to cope with any autism-related challenges they’re facing. You’ll often find ABA therapy programs offered in school settings, but there are other options you may want to consider for your family.
Avenues for ABA Therapy
There are multiple autism treatment programs out there for your family to choose from. Because of this, you’re sure to find one that is suited to addressing your child’s particular needs. For instance, some children may require more individualized attention, while others thrive in group settings. And some kids might benefit from spending additional time devoted to ABA therapy. Some of the different therapy options you should consider include:
- Therapy at home with a personal aide
- ABA therapy in schools as part of a school-based program
- Therapy in a treatment center with their peers
A combination of one or more of the above therapy options
ABA Therapy in Schools
Since children spend the majority of their waking hours inside a school, many parents prefer to go down the ABA therapy in schools route. And if your child is facing challenges related to learning or socializing, trained staff can work in many private or public school settings. There are other benefits to incorporating applied behavioral analysis for schools. For one thing, the new skills developed in ABA therapy can be coordinated with the class curriculum. Other programs, like speech therapy for children with autism, may also be offered. Again, depending on your child’s progress, you may decide to add to their in-school treatment program with in-home ABA therapy programs.
However, keep in mind that according to the CDC, ASD can be detected in children as young as 18 months. For very young children who are diagnosed early, a school-based program may not be suitable. This is why it’s so important to develop a varied, unique treatment plan for each child. Younger children may see greater benefits from peer-based or at-home treatment plans.
How Do I Get Started?
Learning about what autism means can feel overwhelming, but there are steps you can take now to help your child’s future look bright. If your child or family member is on the autism spectrum and could benefit from additional support, don’t hesitate to find the treatment. Early intervention can help reduce many challenges associated with autism. And every single child is different, so look for the program that matches your child’s unique needs.
To begin the process, simply search for “ABA therapy in schools in my area” and look through the results that appear. Then, set up consultations with providers near you to discuss more about your family’s needs.