Analytical behavioral therapy (ABA) is a great therapy for Autistic children and studies have shown that parents who do this at home get better results. There are several online courses to help us learn how to do this, but we can also ask our therapist what they would recommend we do at home. Having said this, there will be times where we as parents won’t get the same fast results that a therapist would. For example, one of my children couldn’t use sign language no matter how many hours of effort I put in. Along came a therapist, and he signed within the week. It’s upsetting when a therapist can teach our child better than we can, but there are reasons for it…
You Are Not a Failure
It’s important to not be discouraged that it’s taking longer to implement new behaviors without our therapist’s input. This isn’t because we are bad parents, or we are doing anything wrong. We as parents need to remember that our child see’s us as the caregiver. We are the love and comfort source that our children seek out. When we start withdrawing wants to teach, it can become a power struggle. Our therapist has the advantage of setting up this kind of relationship from the start, our kids know they mean business and they cannot be manipulated. A child may dig their heels in or simply become confused when we suddenly change the way we relate to them. Because of this, it is always best to have a therapist conduct ABA therapy alongside you.
Your Child May Get Stubborn
Power struggles with any child are frustrating, but it’s game on when an Autistic child fixates better than you. One of my two-year-old Autistic children is a classic example of this. He insists on touching outlets, climbing on objects, and generally touching anything that would get a quick fear reaction. Reacting with fear gives the child power over you, but as a parent, it’s natural to be afraid your child will get hurt. This is something a therapist would be able to control far more than you, rendering ABA difficult for you as a parent but not impossible.
You Can’t Change the World
On top of this, a therapist is able to change the environment and reduce stimuli the way we as parents can’t. This is a great tool for Autistic children but is unrealistic outside of a therapist’s office. We can’t change the world to suit their needs, unfortunately, and so we are more likely to run into triggers before the child is ready to handle them.
ABA must become a lifestyle in your home for the best success. But you are not a failure if you cannot implement the same changes as your therapist. There are restrictions that we as parents have, preventing us from gaining that same success a therapist would. But with time and patience, your child will overcome whatever stands in their way.