One type of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy is called the Loovas Method; the most heavily researched therapy for Autism which demonstrates some of the best outcomes. If your child has been diagnosed with Autism at a young age and you’re thinking about ABA therapy, then your child could be on the road to success.
As a parent we worry about the legitimacy of all therapies, how they will help our child, and what exactly goes on inside the therapist’s room. The Loovas Method relies heavily on Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and some incidental teaching.
What is DTT?
Discrete trial training is when a skill is broken down into steps instead of being taught as a whole. For example, when teaching shapes, the therapist would give two shapes and ask ‘which is the circle?’. Once the child can point out different shapes, then they would teach the child to say the shapes. Each skill is taught slowly, easing your child into the learning process without overwhelming them.
There are 5 steps to DTT
- The Antecedent (when the therapist sets up the question, perhaps by showing two shapes)
- The Prompt (where the therapists asks a question, or performs an action to get a response)
- The Response (where the child responds)
- The Consequence (for either a correct response, or incorrect response)
- The Pause (where the therapist allows it to sink in)
A Further Explanation of the Prompt
There are three types of prompts, an independent, a partial and a full gesture. This means that your child will either be: fully shown what to do, half shown, or not be shown at all. A therapist will generally start with a full prompt and begin to fade this until it becomes independent.
A Further Explanation of the Consequence
It’s scary as parents when we hear the word consequence, and we ask ourselves if it means punishment. This shouldn’t be the case with a qualified ABA therapist. A consequence only means something that happens after a response. If the child performs correctly they are showered with praise. But if the child cannot perform the task (which will happen sometimes) they are simply corrected and shown the right response.
The Loovas Method is just one school of ABA therapy, a therapy that can change the life of an Autistic child. Children who have completed this therapy have gone on to achieve a normal intellectual and educational functioning by the time they are 7 years old.
There’s always hope for a child that’s struggling.