February 21, 2024

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A Detailed Account of ABA Therapy

Autism is a condition related to brain development; it affects how an individual perceives and socializes with others and often causes communication and social interaction problems. Although there is no cure for autism, ABA therapy Frisco, TX, can help your child learn skills and proper behavior through reinforcement. Below is a simple description of ABA therapy.

What is ABA therapy?

Applied behavioral analysis is a type of therapy that uses reinforcement strategies to teach and improve learning, communication, and social skills. Most specialists consider ABA therapy the gold standard for children with autism, but it can also be used to treat other conditions such as:

  • Dementia
  • Eating disorders
  • Anger issues
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Cognitive impairment after brain injury

How does ABA therapy work?

There are different techniques that a therapist may use during a session; the most basic ABA therapy begins with discrete trials. This strategy involves a therapist asking a child to do a simple activity such as picking up a pen. If the child complies, they are given a reward which could be a high five, food treat, or any other compensation that means something to the child. The child receives no prize if they don’t comply, and the therapist repeats the trial.

The type of strategy the therapist uses depends on the needs and abilities of an individual child. Therefore, therapy details usually differ from one child to the other. For example, a child who can sort shapes or colors would not need to sort shapes and colors for a reward. Instead, therapy would focus on different and more challenging social or behavioral tasks.

Children below three years receive a modified form of ABA therapy, almost closer to play therapy. After several therapy sessions, children are taken into real-world settings to apply the behaviors they learned. Older children, teens, and adults with autism spectrum disorder can benefit from ABA therapy. It is easier for patients to immediately apply the skills they learn when therapists use ABA in natural settings like community locations, cafeterias, and playgrounds.

Timeline of ABA therapy

The number of sessions your child requires depends on the goals and how quickly they meet their goals in the program. The therapist usually helps you decide and plan for therapy sessions, including objectives and session length. An assessment to look at a patient’s medical history, including previous treatment, can help determine the goals for treatment. After an initial session, the therapist regularly evaluates progress towards goals. 

ABA therapy can be done as an inpatient program or in other settings, including school, home, and places in the community. If your child has autism, you will undergo some training to support the patient in different environments. Usually, therapy takes between 10 to 25 hours a week, but programs for severe behavior can take more hours. The number of hours your child attends therapy also depends on the treatment goals.

After every few months, the therapist evaluates a patient to determine how long treatment should continue. For example, the therapist may review or stop ABA therapy if the patient has met their goals or is not progressing after several sessions.

Consult your therapist at PediaPlexto to know how your child can benefit from ABA therapy.