Benefits of ABA Therapy: Is Your Child Making Progress?

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visible signs of the benefits of aba therapy on a child

Nowadays, there are beautiful fancy software systems that allow us (the providers) to view data collected on each session on a daily basis. Why is this important? Well, data paints a picture of what is happening. It also helps to understand if the child is getting the benefits of ABA therapy. Did a specific behavior decrease, are skill acquisition targets increasing, or did something plateau? Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) analyze data to see if the intervention implemented is working or needs to be adjusted. But how do you, as a parent or caregiver, measure progress? The data is one side of the equation, and even though you always have access to the data, and it is often reviewed during parent training sessions, it should reflect what your day-to-day experiences with your child are like. So, what does that mean? It just means that if the data shows that certain behaviors, let us say tantrums, are decreasing, you should feel this change at home or in whatever other setting you interact with your child.

Maladaptive Behaviors are Decreasing

The core of what we do relies on identifying inappropriate behaviors and their functions to be able to teach socially appropriate behaviors that can lead to obtaining similar results or serve the same function. For example, if your child hits you every time you engage in play activity with a sibling. We might interpret that this behavior is due to wanting attention from you as his or her parent. In this case, we would teach your child that instead of hitting, he or he could request attention by gesturing, signing, or vocally asking you to play. As your child learns to master these skills, everyday interactions should feel easier, and your ability as a parent to redirect your child to the appropriate behavior should come more naturally.

Communication is Increasing

One of the biggest components of an ABA treatment plan is focused on communication skills. This can include any type of communication. Communication can be done by signing, gesturing, using pictures, an AAC device, or vocal communication. We often see that the inability to properly communicate wants and needs elicits plenty of maladaptive behaviors. We incorporated goals related to communication, such as requesting and labeling to decrease these.  After a few months of treatment, you should be able to see an increase in your child’s ability to express wants and needs.

child showing the benefits of aba therapy

Activities of Daily Living

Growing the desire to have more independence of your children and do things on their own usually grows with them. Yet, for some children with different exceptionalities, independently engaging in these activities could be a struggle; due to an array of reasons, such as poor motor planning, difficulty with fine motor skills, etcetera. This frustration can often lead to maladaptive behaviors. As treatment is implemented, the consistency of practicing all these activities of daily living will help increase your child’s independence. Additionally, working through the frustration and allowing your child to express themselves in a more socially appropriate manner, such as, vocally requesting for help or gesturing, will allow you to know when your child requires your assistance, preventing further frustration and avoiding some of those maladaptive behaviors.

So, we encourage you to ask yourself often, is the data presented during the parent training sessions representative of what our days are at home or in the community? If not, talk to your ABA provider! Addressing this disconnection as soon as it is noted is critical to your child’s progress.

Remember, each child will show the benefits of ABA therapy in different ways. It will be visible in the behavior of the child, allowing parents to understand that the child is getting the benefits of aba therapy. If you would like to ask our expert about the topic, get in touch with us. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay on top of our latest updates.

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