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What Works Best: ABA Therapy or Other Autism Treatments
Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is a complex and manageable neurodevelopment condition that affects each child differently. For medical professionals and parents alike, assessing each child and their circumstances carefully before applying the most effective treatment is important. Applied Behavior Analysis, ABA therapy, and other autism treatments have emerged as the few effective interventions. In this article, we will explore ABA therapy and other autism treatments to understand what will work best for children with autism.
What Is ABA Therapy?
Applied Behavior Analysis therapy is a scientifically proven and evidence-based intervention to help autistic individuals, mainly children with autism, develop and improve essential skills such as communication.
Understanding ABA Therapy
One of the more widely recognized and recommended treatments for autistic children is ABA therapy. The therapy focuses on behavior modification by analyzing a child’s relationship with their environment. Furthermore, ABA therapy aims to improve communication, social skills, and daily activities. It has been cited as a favorable treatment since it enforces pragmatic techniques that encourage positive behavior while eliminating negative behaviors.
Understanding Other Autism Treatments
Medicine is evolving rapidly, which means more solutions are available to help individuals who need it most. Much focus is placed on solutions for children. Here are some essential autism treatments.
Occupational therapy has several benefits. And can be used for children without neurodevelopmental conditions as well. Occupational therapy is used for autistic children who face severe problems in their everyday lives. Occupational therapists work on motor skills, sensory integration, and self-regulation. These are vital and significantly improve the lives of autistic children.
Speech and language therapy
The critical benefit of speech and language therapy is to enhance or improve communication skills. Moreover, it aims to improve speech and language comprehension and nonverbal communication. Speech and language therapy is specifically tailored to meet the child’s needs.
Social skills training
This training aims to foster social interactions and teach an autistic child how to develop appropriate behaviors in social settings. A critical factor in this method is that group training is encouraged. This allows for peer-to-peer engagement.
Cognitive behavior therapy
Autistic children have difficulty managing their emotions. This is a significant reason why cognitive behavior therapy is vital. The consequence of cognitive behavior therapy is that It helps autistic children cope with and understand their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. This therapy also looks at anxiety and challenging behavior and aims to foster coping mechanisms that can be used throughout their lives.
How Effective Is ABA Therapy?
ABA therapy is often the choice of parents who are raising autistic children. This is because it includes several techniques from other autism treatments. ABA therapy improves behavior, communication, and social skills. Meaning one form of therapy covers more than one area of concern. The approach of ABA therapy is two-fold. Firstly, its structure is vital when teaching autistic children about behavior and communication. Secondly, positive reinforcement is encouraged and has been proven to provide positive outcomes in many cases. Furthermore, ABA therapy is a treatment that allows for customization. It can be formulated to suit the needs of a child.
The Role Medical Professionals Play in ABA Therapy
The support, input, and guidance from medical professionals are crucial to the success of this therapy. Medical professionals play an important role in advocating for the best possible care for children. And in many cases, they are the key to bridging the gap for an autistic child adopting a positive approach to their behavior and communication. Medical professionals recognize the importance of any autism treatment, especially ABA therapy. Additionally, medical professionals need to understand the importance of assessing each child differently and that each situation is unique. Meaning that each child will need a varied approach when applying the therapy.
The Role Parents Play in ABA Therapy
Parents will always significantly impact their children’s lives. And when a parent has an autistic child, their involvement in ABA therapy to be successful is crucial. It is essential to understand that ABA therapy does not occur in a silo. Parents must incorporate the techniques into their children’s lives in familiar environments, such as their homes. This is how parents can actively contribute to their child’s ABA therapy:
● Collaborate with ABA therapists and medical professionals.
● Implement techniques at home that are effective.
● Reinforce positive feedback.
● Join training sessions to stay current on the treatment or therapy.
● Support and advocate for the therapy.
The Holistic Approach: Combining Therapies
A holistic approach that combines therapies is ultimately for the better of the child. And while ABA therapy is one of the critical treatments for autistic children, it can be utilized alongside some other valuable treatments. ABA therapy has proven efficacy; there is no doubt about it; however, collaborating with other treatments will enhance overall progress for children with autism. ABA therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, and other medical professionals must work together to address several challenges simultaneously. Each treatment complements each other and works together for the greater good.
This united approach enhances a child’s overall progress and functioning, which means they can achieve a better quality of life much faster. And at the same time, they maintain and tap into the techniques they have learned. Autistic children will receive the support they need on all fronts, develop a comprehensive set of skills, improve their independence, learn to communicate effectively, understand behavior, and interact socially. All of which will lead to a fulfilling life. There is no definitive answer to which works best, ABA therapy or other autism treatments. Parents must also seek advice from medical professionals, who are the key to understanding a child’s needs. Parents should also research thoroughly and understand there is no “one size fits all” treatment. Furthermore, combining different therapies can be highly successful and achieve optimal results.