Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy can be particularly effective for children with neurodiverse conditions who present with significant communication difficulties and challenging behaviors. It is also a great tool to help children with developmental deficits.
At Award Behavioral Health, ABA therapy is used to support children with a variety of neurodiverse conditions.
Children with autism process information differently from neurotypical children. ABA therapy considers how a child’s environment can affect behavior, how behavior itself works, and how it can affect learning potential.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can impact the child’s ability to organize, plan, sequence, and prioritize their daily activities. This means that predictive and sequential thinking becomes a challenge. As a result, children with autism find learning in a typical classroom setting challenging.
ABA therapy uses real-world examples and context to help children with autism increase behaviors that support learning and eliminate those that are not productive.
ABA therapists use direct and frequent measurement as confirmation for strategies that work (and those that don’t work) for each child. This is why ABA therapy is termed self-correcting in nature.
Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) impact’s a child’s ability to pay attention, sit still, and exhibit self-control. Behavioral therapy has a high success rate for helping children with ADHD manage their behavior and learn self-control.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends parent training in behavior management as the first treatment for ADHD before using medication for children under six years of age, and behavior therapy for both parents and children over six.
ADHD can result in behavioral issues that make their day-to-day life more difficult. These include behaviors such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. In a child, this can look like:
- Failing to finish daily chores or tasks
- Issues with staying organized and finding needed items
- Difficulty with waiting for their turn in play and conversations
- Difficulty following directions
- Appearing not to be listening when spoken to
The exact symptoms depend upon the child and if they have mild, moderate, or severe ADHD symptoms.
The CDC specifically recommends behavior therapy as a way to teach children and their families how to reduce or eliminate unwanted behaviors and positively strengthen behaviors the child should exhibit. Behavior therapy can help improve a child’s self-control, self-esteem, and overall behavior.
Children achieve developmental milestones at different rates. From smiling up at the family, rolling over, sitting up unsupported, learning to crawl, walk, and run to communicating with speech, and getting toilet trained, each stage is a developmental milestone.
Most parents keenly watch for these as their children grow from infancy through toddlerhood to school age. Developmental delays refer to situations when some children take far longer than their peers to reach these milestones.
In a social context, a child’s emotional skills determine how they communicate with new people, such as at their daycare, school, or playdates. Social-emotional-behavioral delays refer to an inability to express and manage emotions, form relationships, and interact with peers in groups.
Early identification of such delays is a great way to ensure adequate support can be provided to the child. At Award Behavioral Health, children with social-emotional-behavioral delays can benefit from ABA-geared support and therapy to help them achieve their developmental milestones using a supportive and evidence-based program.
Providers trained in ABA help children develop self-management skills, which reduces the risk of emotional, maladaptive behavior, thereby modifying problem behavior and promoting functional independence.
Executive functions are an integral part of early childhood development. Executive functioning provides the skills one needs to excel in school and daily life.
Examples of executive functions one should learn in childhood include:
- Adaptable thinking
- Planning and scheduling
- Working memory
- Time management
Lacking one or more of these skills is referred to as executive dysfunction. Executive dysfunction is a symptom that happens with other conditions that impact your brain’s ability to control emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. It is common with conditions like ADHD and ASD and can also occur due to brain damage and degenerative brain diseases.
Executive function skills help children learn independence, allowing them to function in school and at home. An ABA therapist can help children overcome executive dysfunction by working with them to build positive executive function skills.
At Award Behavioral Health, our ABA programs are designed to help children with neurodiverse conditions, such as ASD, ADHD, social-emotional delays, and executive dysfunction. Our ABA programs are monitored by our team of board-certified behavior analysts.
If you think ABA support might be beneficial for your neurodiverse child, please contact Award Behavioral Health for a consultation.
For appointments, call us at (800) 249-9569 or contact us online.