Treatment for Autism
Applied Behavior Analysis
Among the many methods available for treating autism and education of people with autism, applied behavior analysis (ABA) has become widely accepted as an effective treatment. Applied behavioral methods have been shown to reduce inappropriate behavior and increase communication, learning, and appropriate social behavior.
The basic research done by Ivar Lovaas and his colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, calling for an intensive, one-on-one child-teacher interaction for 40 hours a week, laid a foundation for other educators and researchers in the search for further effective early interventions to help those with ASD attain their potential.
The goal of behavioral management is to reinforce desirable behaviors and reduce undesirable ones.
- Offer a predictable schedule
- Build on the child's interests
- Teach tasks as a series of simple steps
- Actively engage the child's attention in highly structured activities
- Provide regular reinforcement of behavior.
Parental involvement has emerged as a major factor in treatment success. Parents work with teachers and therapists to identify the behaviors to be changed and the skills to be taught. Recognizing that parents are the child's earliest teachers, more programs are beginning to train parents to continue the therapy at home.