If your son or daughter has autism, then you know that they see the world differently than you do. This can make it extremely hard to navigate social situations and to interact with others. Fortunately, there is a special type of counseling that can help with this that is called applied behavior analysis. Keep reading to learn more about it and how it can help your child.
What Is Applied Behavior Analysis?
Applied behavior analysis is a type of therapy or counseling that focuses on learning and behavior instead of feelings and fears. Specifically, it helps the individual to understand how behaviors are affected by others and the environment and how we choose a specific behavior in each situation. It also assists you in figuring out how we learn and how this learning drives us to act in a specific way.
The goal of the therapy is to encourage positive and helpful behaviors and the reduce ones that are harmful or negative. In other words, it can help your child to learn the social and communication skills that they need to live and thrive independently. It can also allow for better understanding of others and how they react to situations and behaviors.
What Happens During The Therapy?
When your son or daughter starts the applied behavior therapy, they will meet with a therapist. The therapist will start off by learning about your goals. A few common ones are to increase communication, to encourage focus and concentration, and to reduce behaviors that are considered problematic. Problematic behaviors include hitting oneself, screaming, and running away if a difficult situation arises.
The therapy uses positive reinforcement to encourage positive behaviors and utilizes praise, prizes, and special outings. Other types of reinforcement that are specific to your child may be used as well to make the most out of the therapy.
The reward is utilized whenever your child shows the desired behavior or skill. For example, the therapist will focus on verbal communication of needs. If your child verbalizes that they are hungry or tired, then they will get the reward.
Therapy sessions will typically focus on what happens before, during, and after the behavior is completed. This can help your child to understand exactly what to expect when you verbalize a request.
Keep in mind that applied behavior analysis does require a great deal of planning, implementation, and reevaluation. So, be prepared to work with the therapist on an ongoing basis and work on establishing new goals throughout the therapy.Share
24 February 2019
I suffered depression for much of my life, and I lived with it for years before seeking help. I visited a psychiatrist and received an antidepressant prescription along with a referral to a counselor. I filled my prescription, but I put off making an appointment with the counselor. The medication began to help, so I decided that I didn't need to see a counselor after all -- or so I thought at the time. After a couple of months of medication, a close friend of mine died of an illness. I then learned that even though the medication helped my depression, I still had not learned the coping skills I needed to deal with traumatic life experiences. That even motivated me to seek counseling, and it helped me immensely. I created this blog to remind others that medication can help when suffering with depression, but counseling is also extremely important.