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DISCOVER THE BENEFITS OF ABA THERAPY
ABA therapy, or applied behavior analysis, is a therapy that can help people overcome challenges associated with social interaction, communication and learning skills. Therapists use positive reinforcement in this therapy to help individuals learn the skills needed to improve their day-to-day lives.
ABA is a main form of therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder, but therapists also use it for those who have anxiety disorders, brain injuries, anger issues or substance abuse.
If you or someone you know is working through the challenges that come with any of these situations, contact our office in Duluth, Georgia, to discover how our experienced therapists can help.
HOW DOES ABA THERAPY FOR CHILDREN WORK?
“Ultimately, knowing what drives us puts us in the driver’s seat.” – Susan M. Schneider, psychobiologist and naturalist
ABA therapy works in a series of stages starting with a consultation and evaluation. You should search for “aba therapy near me” and find a local ABA therapist to work with. The initial assessment is a functional behavior assessment or FBA. Part of the assessment is digging into what the strengths and challenges are for the person being assessed.
The therapist will spend some time interacting with the person being assessed to make notes about their behavior, communication and skill set. Doing observations within the home and school setting could also be part of the assessment. The more an ABA therapist can see the person doing their typical daily activities the more accurate their findings will be.
CREATING AN ABA PROGRAM
The next stage in the process is creating a formalized plan for the individual who went through the assessment. Each plan a therapist creates will be unique to the person they assessed.
The therapist will set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable and timely. Goals typically focus on decreasing certain problematic behaviors while increasing skills in the areas of communication and daily life skills. The plan may include strategies for everyone that interacts or works with the person being assessed to ensure everyone is on the same page and working together to reach the program goals.
ABA therapists use a few common interventions. The specific intervention chosen depends on the person who went through the assessment. The therapist will use the information from the assessment to determine which intervention is the best starting point.
Following are the interventions:
- Early Intensive Behavior Intervention. Therapists use this with people under the age of 5. It focuses on functional skills, communication and social interactions.
- Discrete Trial Training. This intervention focuses on teaching skills through completing tasks and earning rewards.
- Early Start Denver Model. This is a play-based intervention that can incorporate several goals at the same time.
- Verbal Interventions. These interventions focus on helping a person increase their verbal communication skills.
- Pivotal Response Training. The person receiving the intervention is encouraged to lead an activity with this intervention. They will have a few choices based on the skills they show during the assessment.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF AN ABA THERAPIST?
One of the main goals of ABA is for therapists to find the root cause of the issues people are facing. Through assessment and intervention, therapists will determine what the causes are and continue to adjust the therapy program to help people improve their situation.
Progress monitoring throughout the intervention process is what will determine what is working and what isn’t. Therapists will take that information and personalize the therapy plan to get the best results possible.
HOW MUCH DOES ABA THERAPY COST?
A typical week for someone who receives ABA would involve about 20 hours of therapy. Various treatment programs require more time and others might be slightly less.
The time people need for ABA therapy makes the process expensive. Some people show major improvement after just a few months of treatment, but others take a few years to reach their program goals.
HOW DO I PAY FOR ABA TREATMENT?
The good news is there are ways to avoid paying for the entire cost of ABA therapy out of your pocket. The first stop to get help would be your health insurance plan. It is common for this therapy to be partially covered by insurance plans, and some might fully cover it.
Check with your health insurance provider before making any appointments or plans for therapy. You can also search for ABA therapy near me and check directly with the provider to see what insurance plans they accept.
Your local school system is another place to check out for financial help with ABA therapy. The school might pay for the treatment, but they will probably want to conduct their own assessment to determine what type or level of therapy the client will need.
There are also various financial aid programs available that are specific to ABA therapy. These programs are in place because of the realization that this treatment is expensive.
WHAT IS ABA THERAPY FOR AUTISM?
ABA therapy has become the premiere treatment for people with autism. The ABA system works with individuals with autism because it bases everything on learning behaviors, with rewards and consequences as motivating factors. Using rewards and consequences is not a new concept, but using them in combination with SMART goals makes this treatment effective. The other aspect of ABA that works well with people with autism is measuring progress on a regular and predictable schedule and analyzing the results.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS?
The goal of ABA therapy with people who have autism is to eliminate certain behaviors that are not socially acceptable and replace them with ones that are. An example would be if someone has regular outbursts that are inappropriate, the goal would be to stop that behavior and replace it with something more acceptable. That person might work on using their words rather than having an emotional outburst, or learn to take a break in a quiet space.
The therapy can also focus on basic functional skills like learning to share or brushing teeth in the morning. When a client shows a positive skill, they can earn a reward.
The overall goal for people with autism is to learn life skills and functions that will help them become contributing and productive members of society as they grow into adulthood. ABA therapy will help to teach behaviors that are more expected. It will also help people control their emotions and have a more positive school and work experience.
WE CAN HELP A WIDE RANGE OF PEOPLE
ABA therapy can help a wide range of people. Most people who use this therapy have autism, but the number of people who can benefit from treatment is larger.
The advantages of ABA are many. The initial evaluation is thorough, so this allows for a more specific treatment and intervention plan to develop. Therapists who have earned national board certification can do the treatments. Professionals monitor progress closely and treatment plans can adjust based on the client’s need.
The first step on the road toward improving your life or the life of someone you know is contacting a local ABA therapist to ask questions and schedule an initial evaluation. Contact our office in Duluth, Georgia today to discover how this treatment changes people’s lives by helping clients become the best version of themselves. We’re located at 2810 Premier Parkway, Suite, 500.