ABA therapy is a type of behavioral intervention focused on teaching skills. It’s typically used to help children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental delays develop social, communication, self-help, and academic skills. ABA requires parents or caregivers to work one-on ime in the day for at least an hour per session. Treating ASD with ABA versus other therapies has its advantages but also disadvantages such as cost effectiveness.
The “disadvantages of applied behavior analysis” is a question that has been asked for many years. Although there are some disadvantages, the advantages outweigh them in most cases.
Although Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a popular autism therapy in the US, it is not without its critics. ABA is meant to promote communication and social skills. Some parents think it keeps their kids from becoming who they are as people.
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The Process of ABA Therapy
The use of ABA treatment has grown significantly during the last five years. Private insurance providers are obliged by law to provide autism treatment in the District of Columbia and 38 states.
The treatment first started in 1961. Dr. Ole Ivar Lovaas was employed at UCLA’s psychology department at the time. The Lovaas Model of Applied Behavior Analysis evolved progressively from the therapy that Dr. Lovaas created. operant conditioning is the principle behind ABA.
Operant conditioning alters the outcomes of certain actions. Psychologists attempt to alter the real behavior by doing this. The psychologist keeps track of what happens before and after a behavior while the patient is receiving treatment. Following that, adjustments to the individual’s consequences are designed using the information.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 59 kids in the US are thought to be on the autistic spectrum. Autism was only identified in 1 in 68 kids in 2012. The number of kids with autism has almost tripled since the year 2000.
The ADA’s Benefits for Autism
Numerous research on ABA have been conducted during the last 40 years. Every research has shown that using this strategy may assist autistic youngsters in picking up new habits. ABA may assist kids in adjusting to everyday life by fostering improved social skills and intellectual development.
Therapists may change a child’s social and emotional behavior by using ABA. According to empirical research, ABA may improve a child’s intellectual capacity. Children may achieve social and emotional development on par with their peers by using this method.
When receiving ABA, kids are more likely to stay in school. Additionally, they do better academically. Parents eventually learn the same methods to teach their children at home. Many parents see a favorable change in their kid soon after therapy starts. They see improved communication and less frustration. As treatment continues, problematic behaviors start to disappear.
Researchers at St. John Fisher College have discussed the advantages of early intervention for autistic children. Children are able to have a quicker recovery rate with early ABA treatment. Their nonverbal communication, mimicry, matching, expressive language, and receptive language skills all increase. After an intervention, kids even do better on IQ exams.
The Negative Effects of ADA Therapy for Autism
There are many that disagree with the therapy. The ADA, in the opinion of some parents and autistic persons, is unethical. It is implied when ADA treatment is used that the kid is aberrant or needs to change. Children must conform to the standards of their “normal” classmates. Some critics claim that this strategy is harsh, immoral, and incorrect.
The ADA aims to teach kids coping skills and new habits that will make them more sociable. This suggests that for the youngster to acquire the right responses and appropriate conduct, they must undergo transformation. Detractors claim that doing this prevents the youngster from being themselves. It also limits their ability to make personal decisions. They are unable to select their identities or their goals. Instead, they are forced to adopt the standards of conduct established by others.
The stress of ABA treatment is another concern for some parents. Up to 40 hours of treatment each week may be advised by certain therapists. The adjustment might be upsetting for a youngster who isn’t used to this kind of routine.
The actual course of therapy itself might provide another issue. ABA is intended to be customized. This customized program may or may not be advantageous depending on the situation. Research studies could be more challenging to carry out since the treatment can be altered to the child’s needs. Additionally, it makes it more difficult for therapists to predict what the specific outcomes will be for each kid. The precise care and behavioral adjustments that children need are also given to them via tailored therapy.
You may also be interested in: Autism Treatment History
Getting to the Center
The truth can lie halfway between the opposing positions. While the ADA does allow parents to direct their child’s conduct, this is much the same as what parents currently do. Parents advise their kids on what to eat, who they may hang out with, and when to go to bed. Children are trained to be courteous and silent when they are brought to significant events. ADA is essentially a continuation of this mindset.
ADA proponents think that this treatment does not restrict the child’s potential. Instead, it provides the kid with more choices. A youngster could wish to be alone, for instance, if they are unable to manage social situations. The youngster may learn how to be content and secure with others via ADA. When the kid reaches adulthood, they may decide whether they want to be sociable or alone. They only had one future choice prior to acquiring ADA.
Perhaps not evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of this therapy is the toughest part for parents. Finding a provider of this treatment is the largest issue in the United States. Many school districts don’t provide specific assistance for their aides. Even if a behaviorist is on hand, they may not have the resources to provide each child individualized care. School districts often depend on special education instructors to care for children with special needs, even though reputable ABA agencies have high educational standards.
In most cases, kids lack the information and experience necessary to make their own judgments. As a result, parents must choose the therapies that will benefit their kid the best. Although ADA has benefited many kids and is supported by studies, it may not be the ideal option for all kids. Parents may choose which treatment strategy is ideal for their kid by doing research and consulting experts.
The “aba therapy horror stories” is a question that has been asked many times. There are advantages and disadvantages to treating autism with ABA.
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.