If your child suffers for autism, you may probably by now, understand his / her difficulties in expressing their needs, adjusting with their environment, behavioral patterns and more. Although, it seems to be a tough task, parents can implement behavioral therapy to help their child communicate better. ABA is the application of behavioral principles, to everyday situations, that will, over time, increase or decrease targeted behaviors. This therapy has been used to help children acquire many different skills, such as language skills, self-help skills, and play skills.
Before Getting Started
Before setting up the ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) program, it is important to acknowledge and ensure motivating things for the child. These things are called ‘enhancers’. These enhancers will be of great use in language learning. The more the enhancers selected, the more the child will be motivated to get it and the less difficult it will be to acquire a suitable communication system.
Place the enhancer at an acceptable distance of the child while still in his field of vision. Use the object or activity enthusiastically by manipulating it and speaking aloud about that object or activity. Observe the child’s behavior and if he / she looks at it, comes near to it, reaches for the object, you can judge their interest in the enhancer.
How to Choose An Appropriate And Highly Motivating Enhancer?
- Make sure your child’s motivation is steady and strong for the enhancer.
- Make sure the enhancer is already familiar with the child. For e.g., the child repeats it in echo, or the child encounters it regularly in his environment.
- Choose an easy to pronounce enhancer.
- If it’s a “consumable” enhancer allow more testing and make sure they are less aversive. They must be given little by little.
- Make sure you can easily give or retrieve the enhancer during the learning process.
- Vary your enhancers by choosing them from different categories (games, food, activity etc …)
- The motivation for an enhancer should not be “invasive” as this may cause frustration and may cause so-called behavior “problems”.
Know The Child’s Existing Behavioral Pattern
Make sure you give attention to certain requests like ‘please’, ‘thank you’ etc, because if they are learned early in the program, the child can quickly replace a more complete application of the type. For example where he says “I want an apple” he will replace it with ‘please’ and other courteous words that you may teach him or her.
Do Not Anticipate Your Child’s Needs
Do not anticipate the needs of your child because it strongly restrains the development of communication. Anticipating all their needs, to go faster or simply to help them spontaneously, will not help the child to communicate.
Do Not Use Interrogative Sentence
Interrogative sentences like “you want the ball? “What do you want? “Should not be used, because it may seem like a threatening message to the child.
In addition, many behavioral disorders can develop in children with autism because they have not learned to ask in a suitable way what they want, or do not want. ABA can help them learn a suitable communication system that positively influence on the behavior.
For more information about Applied Behavioral Analysis visit autismhub.co.uk