- Is ABA an experimental treatment?
- Is ABA a program that relies on robotic training?
- Do therapists use food and toys to bribe kids into doing things?
- Can ABA be applied to treating other disorders?
- Is my child suitable for this treatment?
- How much would ABA intervention cost?
- How long will ABA treatment last?
- Will ABA therapy be too intense for my young child?
- What should I do with problem behaviors?
Is ABA an experimental treatment?
Of all forms of therapy and education that are available for children with autism, ABA is the most established with 40 years of research backing it. It is the only treatment whose benefits have been consistently validated by independent scientific research. It has been endorsed by many organizations. It has been endorsed by many organizations including (but not limited to) the following:
- United States Surgeon General
- American Academy of Neurology
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Psychological Association
- Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
- National Institute of Child Health & Human Development
- National Institute of Mental Health
- Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT)
- New York State Department of Health
We provide a more advanced version of ABA, which focuses on helping children with autism develop and use language skills. You may also like to read a New York Times' article to learn more about the effectiveness of ABA therapy.
Is ABA a program that relies on robotic training?
This myth deals with the mistaken idea that in ABA programs children are not being taught to be independent thinkers but merely trained to react to stimuli. All learning has some aspects of rote memorization and practiced routine, whether you are in an ABA program, regular school classroom or simply learning from mom at home. There are always going to be things that a child is expected to do. When discussing “training,” one is generally talking about creating habits of behavior – things we do without thinking about them. Many of our behavioral choices in life are reactions and habits; these habits have all formed the way that they have because guided practice has led to success. It is important to remember that ABA is outcome oriented and dependent on what works. A program is only successful if the learning goals that are targeted are being met on a frequent and consistent basis.
Do therapists use food and toys to bribe kids into doing things?
ABA is a Reinforcement based science. It is within human nature to be motivated by foreseeable things that will help us achieve certain goals, and children are no different when it comes to this. Reinforcement encourages positive behavior and promotes frequency in a child practicing good behavior in the future.The fact that Reinforcement is defined as occurring after a behavior shows that the terms “Bribe” and “Reinforcement” are not synonymous. Bribes involve saying to someone, “If you do this, I will give you this.” Bribes are dependent on a negotiation before the behavior occurs. Since Reinforcement occurs only after a behavior is completed, they are not one in the same.In fact, most ABA programs teach that the use of “If, Then,” statements are often contrary to good teaching. ABA focuses on identifying strong motivational things in order to help children engage in the program and there are no limits as to what reinforcers can be.
Can ABA be applied to treating other disorders?
Yes! ABA is a science that was theorized and developed long before there was any thought of applying it to Autism Spectrum Disorder. ABA is used to help all kinds of people overcome all kinds of social and behavioral problems, such as quitting smoking, personality disorders, relationship counseling, obsessive compulsive disorders, and many other common human issues. Behavioral principles only began being used for children with autism in the late 1960’s and 1970’s.
Is my child suitable for this treatment?
Our programs are very flexible and customized to suit individual needs. When designing a program, we look at factors such as your child’s age, language ability and existent skills. We treat both high and low functioning children, of which some are non-verbal. We can incorporate practices instructed by other professionals into the program, e.g oral exercises instructed by your child’s speech therapist.
How much would ABA intervention cost?
It is not uncommon for people to use ABA services costing HKD$20,000 / SGD$3,300 or more per month. Although it is true that you can find programs that do cost this much, our program costs less per hour than most other intensive intervention programs as we aim to provide quality and effective services. Our average cost per child in direct service is less than HKD$9,000 / SGD$1,600 per month in the first year, with yearly costs going down over time as the child has made substantial progress. We recommend a minimum of three sessions per week in order for the child to benefit from the effects of the program, though this could be cut down gradually as improvement is seen.
How long will ABA treatment last?
The cost of ABA therapy is high given the frequency of ABA sessions. Its success also requires parents to commit time and effort to instructing and training their children outside therapy time. ABA is best seen as a long term treatment, supporting the child’s learning through the years of early schooling and adolescence. However, the program and delivery of ABA may change as the child progresses through different stages of life. For instance, when a child approaches school-age, the program may be geared more heavily toward specific academic and social skills instead of the foundational learning skills. In return for investing precious resources into ABA, parents can expect to see their child progress in skills, behavior and general quality of life.
Will ABA therapy be too intense for my young child?
ABA therapy is generally considered an intensive form of therapy. However, we are mindful to ease children into the flow of activities during the session, especially when they first begin an ABA program. Since the Verbal Behavior approach is loosely structured around a child’s preferences and infused with age-appropriate leisure activities, instead of being mundane and tiring, sessions are actually invigorating and enjoyable for the child. Consequently, motivation for learning is heightened.
What should I do with problem behaviors?
It is important to be understanding and watchful with your child’s behavior pattern. It is often the case that children with autism have difficulty getting their ideas and thoughts across which may lead to frustration when misunderstood. Being taught to communicate effectively is the best way to counter this issue along with providing positive reinforcement to motivate your child.
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