Behavior therapy is therapy with the goal of helping the individual modify their behaviors. That could mean adopting healthier behaviors or working toward eliminating problematic ones.
When it’s tailored to kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), behavior therapy can be a powerful tool both for the kids and their families. By enforcing positive and healthy actions, it helps to set children up for success. At the same time, the therapist can share tools the family can use at home to further support the child with ASD.
Applied-behavior analysis therapy for ASD
Experts — including medical associations and the U.S. Surgeon General — recommend a specific type of behavior therapy for kids with ASD. It’s called applied behavior analysis therapy, or ABA therapy, for short.
As the name suggests, this type of therapy roots itself in the analysis of both behaviors themselves and the rationale behind them. In other words, ABA therapy explores how we act and why we act the way we act.
That makes it uniquely useful for children with autism. By incorporating what we know about autism with best practices in behavioral therapy, we can tailor sessions to give your child what they need to lead their healthiest, happiest life.
What ABA does for ASD
What does that look like, exactly? With ABA therapy, we can help kids:
- Learn new verbal and nonverbal communication skills
- Increase their capacity for focus/attention and memory
- Move away from problem behaviors
- Build social skills
- Improve self-care and hygiene
- Develop academically
ABA can take different forms. Children with autism often benefit from one-on-one sessions with a trained therapist alongside group sessions that use ABA principles. Here at Stride Autism Centers, for example, Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) oversee programs for both one-on-one therapy sessions and group activities.
Starting ABA early
ABA can help people of any age, but studies show that it’s more helpful for kids with autism when they start it young. Specifically, children benefit from beginning this specialized form of therapy between the ages of two and six.
That’s partially because ABA therapy evolves with your child. Through ongoing assessment, our BCBAs adapt your child’s program as they develop. This way, we can help your child get the support they need in the areas where they need it. While one child might struggle with communication, another may need help moderating harmful behaviors. What’s more, their growth areas will likely change through the years. With ABA, we tailor care to set your child up for success as they grow and develop.
If you’d like to learn more about how behavior therapy can help with ASD, don’t hesitate to talk to our team of ABA specialists. At Stride Autism Centers, we offer ABA programs for preschool-aged kids with ASD. We blend one-on-one therapy with naturalistic group activities, all tailored to your child to help them thrive.
If you’d like to see what a behavior therapy preschool could do for your child with ASD, contact us.