Most children with autism have a difficult time communicating. Imagine being thirsty looking up at a cup of water that you just can’t reach. Imagine that everyone around you can reach up to get that water and if you only knew how to ask, you too could have the water. But you can’t form the words. What do you do?

Many children with Autism live out this scenario daily when they have needs and they can’t figure out a way to get them met. They may hit you, throw something, point, grunt, scream, or just start crying. Why can’t you just see that they want the water?

Maybe after trying a series of a few inappropriate behaviors, someone tries to console them by offering water. Ahhhh, finally. Now unfortunately, a new pattern of abnormal behavior has just been set. Child with autism thinks, when I threw, cried and hit, I got water. Ok then.

Many therapists like to call these inappropriate behaviors maladaptive, when you think about it, the child modified his behavior to get his needs met. Whether it was appropriate or not, it got his needs met. That’s why we as therapist, teachers and parents, need to help teach the children more appropriate ways of getting their needs met.

And because many kids with autism have problems communicating, much of the behavioral problems can be reduced significantly if the child just knew how to ask for what he or she wants. When people learn how to get their needs met, the whole world opens up to them. Now imagine again being thirsty and calmly and confidently saying “may I have a drink of water please”. You immediately get the water.

These results are not uncommon when utilizing ABA with a competent Board Certified Behavior Analyst. ABA usually focuses on teaching skills which are socially relevant to the child. This usually results in less stress on the teachers, the family and ultimately the child.

To learn more about ABA treatment in the South Florida area visit