Parent training is a crucial piece of any successful treatment plan when working with children and adolescents. When a family begins ABA therapy, the caregivers often report feeling that they cannot cope with their child's various maladaptive behaviors. Parent or Caregiver Training gives them specific tools to understand and respond to these behaviors, as well as carry over their child's targets when the ABA therapist is not present.
In a successful ABA program, the parent training goals will do one or many of the following: They will help caregivers understand the functions and consequences of their child's behavior, provide specific skills to the parents to manage the areas that need assistance, and they will work with the ABA therapists on transferring goals that the child mastered in a controlled setting with the therapist to the parents.
The goal of parent training is to provide all caregivers involved in raising the child with the tools and strategies needed to help a child thrive. It is proven that children progress in ABA therapy more rapidly when parents and other family members are involved.
Parent training goals are established during the Initial Assessment to continue the progress at home and make a cohesive and involved growth experience in a family environment.
During the Initial Assessment, procedures that promote socially appropriate behaviors, and reduce maladaptive behaviors are identified. Initial Assessment determines caregivers’ response goals. Parent/caregiver competencies, training, and learning objectives are identified during the Initial Assessment. these goals are tailored to the specific child and family needs. However, all start with basic ABA strategies:
- General knowledge of behavior management strategies for challenging behaviors
- General competency in implementing behavior modification plans
- Strategies for identifying and amending acceptable reinforcers
- Functional communication, and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior
- Utilization of antecedent strategies
- Functional generalization of skills in all settings
- Practice, management, and integration of natural environment training
- Ongoing identification of self-help skills and daily living skills applicable to the child
- Utilization of joint attention and play strategies.
- Identification and support of pro-social behaviors
- Breaking tasks into smaller parts to help their child learn
- Identifying the function of their child’s behaviors and utilization of data appropriately