LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
Welcome to the world of ASD! If your child has recently been diagnosed, you’ve been thrown into a brand-new world filled with alphabet acronyms. One of the terms that you may have heard about is “ABA”. You may be wondering: What is ABA? How does it work? And will it help my child?
ABA is shorthand for Applied Behavior Analysis, which in (not-so) simple terms means that ABA is the practical application of the analytical science of behavior. Let’s break this down a bit so that we can understand it more!
Humanity has always been fascinated and intrigued by our own behavior. Since ancient history, our ancestors were curious to find out why people act, react and interact in certain ways. That’s because we believed that if we’d understand the cause of behavior, we’d be able to manipulate behavior. As you can well imagine, the ability to change other people’s behavior is a very valuable power.
Throughout the generations, many different disciplines, such as religion, philosophy and psychology, attempted to unravel the mystery of human behavior. During more modern times, behavioral scientists stepped forward with our own idea. Behavioral scientists suggested that a person’s environment (setting), and the relationship between the person and the environment, may be the cause of human behavior. If the relationship with the environment is what causes behavior, then changing the environment or the relationship with the environment may change behavior.
In the past few centuries, behavioral scientists have conducted thorough and meticulous experiments to analyze (prove and disprove) these theories. As a result of these analyses (studies), behavioral scientists have discovered many principles (proven theories) of behavior. Each behavior principle discusses a different way to change the environment or relationship with the environment to modify human behavior.
Applied Behavior Analysis is the next step in the behavioral science process. ABA therapy organizes all the principles of behavioral science, which are theoretical knowledge, and makes it practical. ABA therapy has combined different behavioral science principles to create practical therapeutic techniques. These techniques can be used quite effectively to change behavior–to teach behaviors that need to be taught, and to change behaviors that need to be gone.
So, what is ABA? ABA is the practical, therapeutic application of behavioral science research. How does ABA work? ABA takes the principles of behavior science and converts them into easy-to-use techniques that can be leveraged to change behavior. And most importantly, will ABA help my child? Most certainly—ABA can teach your child to learn and use important life skills that they don’t have and change any inappropriate behaviors that are interfering with them living their best life.
While it is true that anyone who is familiar with the principles of behavioral science can call themselves a behavioral services provider, it is critical that you and your child only work with a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Board Certified Behavior Analysts are ABA professionals who have met exacting standards of education and experience and must adhere to a comprehensive code of ethical conduct.
Remember, behavior change is a powerful and risky process. Because ABA is so effective at managing behavior, it is important that you entrust your child’s care with a professional who will collaborate with you to design an individualized treatment plan that prioritizes your child’s wellbeing and reflects your most important goals. Rest assured–a BCBA will also only use compassionate and developmentally appropriate ABA techniques. All team members treating your child under the supervision of a BCBA will only use ethical behavior change techniques. BCBAs are also familiar with the most recent research and updates in the field and will integrate their broad base of knowledge into every aspect of your child’s therapy sessions.
Enrolling your child with a trusted ABA therapy agency such as Interact Therapy Services can help them maximize the strengths and minimize the challenges that are part of an ASD life. ABA therapy is the gold-standard in helping individuals with ASD and their families live their best lives. At Interact Therapy Services, we carefully select all staff for their professionalism, expertise, and understanding of families and children.
At Interact Therapy Services, we offer in-home ABA therapy services to children and their families. Our caring and committed professionals will work together with you to teach your child the skills that they need to progress and succeed.
To find out more about Interact Therapy Services, call 732.806.0804 for a free no-obligation phone consultation. We look forward to helping you and your child!