Promoting The Idea That Autistic Children Must Change To Fit In
And the final reason why even new ABA is problematic is that it promotes the idea that autistic children are broken and need to change in order to fit in.
As long as we subject autistic children to intensive therapies that train them out of their autistic behaviors, we are telling those children and society as a whole that autistic behaviors must be changed.
I would much rather see a world where stimming and meltdowns were understood and accommodated instead of trained away and shamed.
But that wont happen as long as autistic children are spending hours and hours being made to feel like they have to change who they are in order to be accepted by their peers, their teachers, and pretty much everyone in their life.
And there you have it. 5 important reasons that even new ABA is problematic.
So before you dismiss the concerns of autistics who are speaking out against ABA, remember the points in this post.
Remember that even if your experience with ABA wasnt the torturous punishment-based therapy that youve heard about in other articles, that doesnt mean that its a safe or respectful therapy option.
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We’ve Been Where You Are
Owned and Operated by Parents of a Child with Autism
The founders of Lighthouse Autism Center Gregg and Sandy Maggioli, have a son, Victor, who was diagnosed with autism in 2003. As parents of a child with autism, they understand firsthand the struggles and triumphs that come with raising a child with autism.
How Caregivers Benefit From Aba Therapy
Parents and caregivers of individuals receiving ABA therapy can also benefit by utilizing the principles of ABA. While every situation is unique, incorporating ABA therapy techniques outside of the 1:1 therapy sessions may produce more desirable treatment outcomes for the patient. The term caregiver training is common in ABA services and refers to the individualized instruction that a BCBA or ABA Supervisor provides to parents and caregivers. This typically involves a combination of individualized ABA techniques and methods parents and caregivers can use outside of 1:1 sessions to facilitate and promote ongoing progress in defined areas.
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Good For Students Who Cannot Verbalize
For many students, the ability to vocalize a feeling is the challenging driver behind the undesired behavior. When interventions are designed to look at the stimulus behind the behavior, often, the challenging behavior can be stopped. This therapy is a good way to not only stop an undesired behavior but also to figure out the roots behind both.
How To Find Out What Type Of Insurance Plan You Have
If your company contracts with a major insurance company, it may look like your plan is fully funded and offers ABA therapy insurance coverage, but that may not be the case. To make sure, you can contact your companys human resources department and ask whether the plan is fully funded or self-funded.
If the plan is self-funded, ask about coverage for ABA therapy. You should also request information on autism coverage specifically; you may need to contact the plan administrator directly and ask about benefits for ABA therapy for children with autism.
Autism Speaks maintains this list of companies that cover ABA therapy through their self-funded health insurance plans, but its always a good idea to double-check with your representative.
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Thrive Behavior Centers Can Help With Aba Therapy Insurance Questions
Thrive Behavior Centers is an in-network provider for insurance plans including Aetna, Cigna, Tricare, BCBS HMO Magellan, and BCBS PPO Texas. Were in the process of gaining in-network status with Scott & White, MultiPlan, and Compsych.
But even if were not in network, with your insurance plan, you may have options.; Some insurance plans will approve a Single Case Agreement, which allows you to use your in-network benefits.; We can also direct you to resources that can help cover therapy costs.; ;Helping families get access to ABA therapy is important to us.; Contact us with questions.
What Can Children Learn Through Aba
Most of the time, ABA is intended to “extinguish” undesirable behaviors and teach desired behaviors and skills. For example, ABA may be used to reduce outbursts and tantrums or to teach a child to sit quietly, use words to make requests, or wait for their turn in the playground.
ABA can also be used to teach simple and complex skills. For example, ABA can be used to reward a child for brushing his teeth correctly, or for sharing a toy with a friend.;
While classic ABA can be used in a “natural” setting , it is not intended to build emotional skills. So, for example, while ABA might teach a child to shake hands or greet another person with a handshake, it won’t help that child to feel an emotional connection with another person.
It takes an extraordinary therapist to use ABA to teach academic content, imaginative or symbolic thinking, or empathy. As a result, those skills are usually taught in other ways.
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Challenges Cbt Therapists Face When Treating Autistic Children
Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective and empirically supported treatment, however, therapists who work with autistic children may still encounter a number of challenges.;
To begin with, children with autism spectrum disorder need to have the necessary skills to ensure the success of the therapy. Although autistic children can usually distinguish thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and even attempt to alter their thoughts, recognizing emotions is an area that can pose significant difficulties during therapy.
In addition, cognitive behavioral therapy tends to require strong linguistic and abstract thinking abilities, which can represent a challenge for children on the autism spectrum. That is why therapists often need to introduce modifications to make CBT techniques more pertinent for autistic children. They may resort to more concrete, repetitive, and visual tactics, and focus on your childs special interests to keep them engaged and motivated. Besides, therapists may have to incorporate frequent movement breaks or sensory activities for children who have problems with attention or sensory under- or over-reactivity.
Aba: The Most Effective Treatment For Autism
As a parent, if youve ever questioned the effectiveness of ABA therapy, let the evidence speak for itself. In 1987, the grandfather of Assisted Behavior Analysis therapy Dr. Ivar Lovaas proved that early intervention and intensive behavioral therapy, enabled children with Autism to achieve success. He concluded that 90% of children make substantial gains through ABA therapy . Lovaas added that 47% of the children studied during his research were indistinguishable from their peers after receiving intensive ABA therapy .
Since then, parents and therapists alike have seen first-hand how ABA is effective at reducing disruptive behaviors including tantrums, aggression, inappropriate self-stimulatory behavior, and self-injury. Additionally, ABA is effective at increasing the social skills that many children with Autism find challenging such as social engagement, communication, play and self-help skills. The power of ABA is in its evidence-based results. However, despite all the data and testimony regarding its effectiveness there are still skeptics who remain unconvinced.
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Where Do I Find Aba Services
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Navigating An Autism Diagnosis In Denver
Leslie first noticed some of Vickis challenges when she was a toddler. It started after she took a tough fall at 1 year old, and Leslie became concerned about her daughters hearing. The doctor initially brushed it off as normal for her age, but Leslie advocated for her child and took her to a specialist who put tubes in her ears. This helped with her hearing, but at that point, Vickis speech was delayed after not being able to hear for much of her young life. Even after surgery and time in speech therapy, Leslie felt Vickis communication still did not progress, so she sought more help.
At this point, Leslie reached out to the local hospital for a diagnostic evaluation for autism spectrum disorder . She filled out the required paperwork, turned it in and was told to expect an assessment in six months. She waited. And waited. And waited.
Waiting and waiting for something to happen was so tough. I put her in preschool and a few things helped she started to say a word or two but I knew there was something my kid wasnt getting, said Leslie.
After more than two years on the waitlist for an assessment, she came across a story from that caught her attention.
Something about it just clicked. I got the best feeling while reading the article from Hopebridge. Then I saw they opened centers in Colorado and I knew I had to call them right away. Within one week, she was diagnosed with autism, said Leslie.
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Changing Behavior As The Primary Goal
Whether youre talking about old ABA or new ABA, the primary goal of the therapy is to change the autistic persons behavior.
But behavior is communication, and when the primary goal is to change that behavior, theres a LOT of communication that gets missed.
In fact, Ive written before about the three vital steps to take BEFORE you address your autistic childs behaviors, and ABA therapy, in the majority of cases, skips over those steps.
Beyond that, when therapy is focused on changing autistic behaviors, it implies that autistic behaviors are bad.
Autistic children should not have their behavior changed simply because it isnt the way a neurotypical child behaves.
And training a child to sit still instead of wiggling while at the table or forcing them to practice scripts so that they communicate like a neurotypical child, isnt fair to the autistic child at all.
The Best Cbt Providers In The Atlanta Area
If you live in the Atlanta area, you may want to consider one of the following top-rated CBT providers for your child with autism:
Atlanta CBT offers cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and positive discipline, in addition to providing parent training where you can learn the necessary skills to guide your child.
A team of CBT specialists provides a variety of treatment techniques, with a focus on exposure therapy and exposure and response prevention for anxiety disorders, OCD, and related conditions.
Thriveworks Atlanta CBT counselors and therapists are trained in child therapy and have extensive experience in dealing with various issues your child with autism may be facing.
Founded in 1985, Cognitive Atlanta was the first treatment and training institute of its type in the Southeast. Their psychologists specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy for children, adolescents, and adults.
The Atlanta Specialized Care therapists have years of experience using cognitive behavioral therapy and other techniques to treat autistic children and adolescents who are dealing with depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
This service allows you to find your nearest provider of CBT therapy in Atlanta and several other Georgia cities.;
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What Are Some Limitations Within Aba Therapy
While ABA treatment deals with many issues effectively, there can be small obstacles you should look to avoid. These include treatment plans that dont take your childs specific needs into account or are too broad for your childs diagnosis. As we have reiterated, the specific routine and care for a child with autism should be conducted by a practitioner who looks into every element of need in that childs life.
Additionally, clinic or home-based care can make a big difference. Therapy limited to one setting can lessen the chance for your childs generalization of skills. Its beneficial for your child to have exposure to ABA therapy in multiple settings so the learned skills are carried across different environments. It may be beneficial to seek organizations that offer both clinic-based and home-based therapy.
Realistically, ABA has shown to have an effect with almost all situations of social and childhood disorders. That being said, you should always look for therapy options that emphasize generalization so that you can see growth in all aspects of your childs life.
What Is Aba Therapy Used For
ABA-based therapy can be used in a multitude of areas. Currently, these interventions are used primarily with individuals living with ASD; however, their applications can be used with individuals living with pervasive developmental disorders as well as other disorders. For ASD, it can be used in effectively teaching specific skills that may not be in a childs repertoire of skills to help him/her function better in their environment whether that be at home, school, or out in the community.; In conjunction with skill acquisition programs, ABA-based interventions can also be used in addressing behavioral excesses . Lastly, it can also be utilized in parent/caregiver training.
In skill acquisition programs, a childs repertoire of skills is assessed in the beginning phase of the services in key adaptive areas such as communication/language, self-help, social skills, and motor skills as well.; Once skills to be taught are identified, a goal for each skill is developed and then addressed/taught by using ABA-based techniques to teach those important skills. Ultimately, an ABA-based therapy will facilitate a degree of maintenance and generalization .; These two concepts are very important in any ABA-based intervention.
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What Is Aba Therapy
ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis. Its a science focused on improving behaviors that are important to your child and family and teaching new skills to help your child reach their maximum potential. ABA therapy is used to target challenging behaviors that may be getting in the way of your childs development and improving those areas. Ultimately, we want to increase desired behaviors and decrease challenging or undesired behaviors.
Whether you realize it or not, you and everyone around you are using the basic science of ABA. Because we are all connected to and influenced by our environment, we all experience our behaviors changing based on the reinforcement and/or consequences that are happening around us. In other words, the context of our environment shapes our behavior by the positive and negative reactions in which we come into contact with.
The science of ABA therapy is an efficient and effective way to improve upon the behaviors of your child. This is all done in a;safe, ethical way;and its all supported by decades of thorough research.
Aba Therapy Is Designed To Help Treat Children With Autism
ABA therapy programs are effective in treating children with autism because they create very structured environments where conditions are optimized for learning. Over time, these very structured environments are systematically changed so that the environment mimics what a child could expect if and when they are placed in the classroom. Essentially, an ABA therapy program works with a learner by creating a somewhat unnatural or atypical learning environment for the child, such as teaching them in a distraction free, one-to-one environment in their home. The structured environment makes it more conducive for the child to learn. The learning environment will change over time so that it more closely resembles a typical classroom environment an environment the child will encounter when they are of age to attend school or are reintegrated into a typical classroom setting. It is important to note that the main premise of an ABA program is teaching a child, how to learn, so that they will no longer need such structured and specialized services.The ultimate goal of ABA therapy is for the learner to gain independence by learning and developing new skills resulting in an increase in positive behavior while reducing the frequency of negative behaviors.
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Aba Therapy Programs Can Help:
- Increase language and communication skills
- Improve attention, focus, social skills, memory, and academics;
The methods of behavior analysis have been used and studied for decades. They have helped many kinds of learners gain different skills from healthier lifestyles to learning a new language. Therapists have used ABA to help children with autism and related developmental disorders;since the 1960s.
The Origins & History Of Aba Therapy
ABA Therapy was developed in the 1970s by psychologist Ole Ivar Lovaas. Having been influenced by BF Skinner, he created a system to treat autism based on behaviorism. His approach of Discrete Trial Training was extremely structured and intense. It broke down basic skills and desirable behaviors for children to learn in small components.;A child would have to complete activities designed to teach them each component, repeating each piece the exact same way many times. A reward would be given when completed correctly. Oftentimes, the child received punishment for any unwanted behavior.
In the beginning, it showed successful results and proved to be a viable alternative to institutionalization . Children with autism who went through an intense 14-month therapy, 40 hours a week, experienced a decrease in undesirable behaviors, an increase in desired behaviors, as well as a higher IQ.
Eventually, the original application came under scrutiny primarily due to its intense nature and use of punishment, including shock treatment. Today the focus has shifted from punishment-based to more reward-based and is less extreme in nature. However, it is still important to verify that an ABA therapist doesnt use punishment or intense repetition before hiring them.
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Myth: Aba Is Not Based On Real Human Experience
Fact: The basic theory of ABA is that all learned behaviors have an antecedent and a consequence, and that consequences shape behavior. For example, most adults work to earn a monetary reward and would likely stop working if they ceased to receive that reward. ABA uses positive reinforcement as the consequence of choosing the desired response.