One of the most common ways autism centers help children with special needs is through ABA therapy — applied behavioral analysis. Here’s what you should know about it.
What Does ABA Therapy Do?
Essentially, ABA is a discipline. It employs objective data to drive the decision about an individual’s program, as each special needs child has his or her own unique abilities and difficulties. This is to say that the data is collected based upon the person’s responses in order to determine if he or she is making progress. That way, if little progress is being made, a new approach can be taken.
What Can ABA Therapy Help Special Needs Children Learn?
Essentially, anything. If it’s a behavior that can be observed — be it reading, social interaction, work skills, personal self-care, or domestic skills — ABA can help a person improve that behavior. In the context of the therapy, behavior means any action or skill. ABA treatment also takes into account the individual’s environment, which is any physical or social influence that may change the individual’s behavior. By taking all this into account, therapists can help guide special needs children to becoming the best they can be.
What Are the Logistics of ABA Therapy?
In traditional ABA therapy, a therapist spends between 20 and 40 hours each week working with a special needs child one-on-one. In modified ABA therapy, they spend between 10 and 15 hours each week. That way, the child has enough time for other therapies he or she may need, like speech and/or occupational therapy. Payment for each of these treatments can be supplemented with insurance usually, as 32 out of 50 states in the U.S. have laws requiring health insurers to help fund ABA therapy.
If you have any questions about how ABA therapy can help special needs children or what it can do, feel free to share in the comments.