Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) is a therapy that teaches your Autistic child how to learn with positive re-enforcement. They are taught in a thrilling, gentle way, which opens up new paths for them. But should your child be doing their ABA therapy at home? Or in the therapist’s office?
ABA in the Therapists Office
When ABA is performed in this structured way it simulates similar learning environments your child will encounter over the years in schools, colleges and universities. Performing ABA therapy with your child in such an environment may help them focus when at school, due to a familiar feeling of structure. ABA teaches child skills and behaviors that are needed for environments like schools, such as concentration.
By performing ABA therapy in an office, or out of the home, your child doesn’t have their usual clutch items to cling to, such as toys and family. This is something that will happen as they get older and enter ordered environments. Being away from familiar items can cause anxiety and distress for a child, something that a therapist can address and help your child overcome.
Also, Autistic children often have issues with distractions; some of these are sensory problems such as loud noises. In a home it’s hard to avoid the sounds of traffic, phones ringing, and people talking, but a therapist can design their space to suit your child’s needs to get the best out of ABA.
ABA at Home
Of course, home based therapy can be wonderful for a child who struggles with new places and new people. Sometimes a child has specific behaviors that need addressing within the home, such as meal times, or escaping out of the front door! This can’t be addressed easily in an office as it’s hard to simulate. It’s also convenient for the parent to keep up with high hours of therapy if it’s done within the home.
Another thing to consider is that it can depend on how old your child is. A child who doesn’t need to be in nursery or a school setting yet (1 – 3 years) may benefit more from having therapy in an environment they know. ABA also doesn’t need any fancy equipment that you don’t already have around your home and working with loved toys will be enjoyable for your child.
Balancing working in a structured environment and a therapist’s office is the best way to achieve a perfect balance with ABA therapy. But otherwise, the approach will depend on your child. ABA therapy is a wonderful experience for most Autistic children and it’s important they are as comfortable as possible where ever it’s performed.