Autism is becoming more common than ever among children under the age of 18. In fact, it’s steadily increasing by as much as 15% each year. Studies have shown that an autism spectrum disorder affects one in 68 children. For this reason, applied behavior analysis (ABA) is used to help families with children with autism. Research findings are still being developed and new approaches to the disorder are brought up each day. With so much info available on autism but not much on ABA and its practices, we have listed some commonly asked questions along with their answers to help you better understand ABA and its benefits:
What is applied behavior analysis?
Applied behavior analysis is the study of how learning is done and the behaviors that influence learning and using those techniques to bring a positive change in behavior. For example, when a particular behavior is followed by a reward of some sort, the behavior has a higher chance of being repeated. Early detection of autism allows for ABA therapists to intervene quickly and produce positive results in children. For families, early diagnosis followed by treatment can result in up to 60% savings in long term care costs.
What are the benefits of ABA?
Recent studies have concluded that IQ, verbal skills and social functioning saw a noticeable increase in those with autism who participated in ABA services prior to the age of four. As with most therapy, the effects of applied behavior analysis therapy are not shown quickly but do produce comparable results after as little as four years. For example, in children around the age of 34 months, learning ability increased greatly. They were able to be integrated into regular education classrooms where they not only learned at the same pace as their peers but were succeeding in the process. This is after just four years of treatment with ABA therapists. Treatment is commonly made up of one on one teaching year round for an average of 40 hours per week for about two or more years.
Do autism treatment centers include ABA therapists?
Many autism centers staff ABA therapists to aid in the development of children and adults with autism. They can also be sometimes found in hospitals and private practices.
Consult with your child’s physician to find recommendations for autism treatment and to find a therapist near you.