If your child has been newly diagnosed or even if your child is receiving ABA therapy you might have never asked what ABA actually stood for. I heard it a few times when both my children were first diagnosis. I was in such a state of shock and mindlessness the term and its meaning flew right over me. I’m sure it is the same for a few of you out there as well. Once hearing a diagnosis you mind starts to spin. Put one foot on the ground and gain your bearings. We are here to help. First the basics-
ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis. According to Wikipedia it “is the application of behavior analysis that modifies human behaviors, especially as part of a learning or treatment process.”
We have used ABA for a long time. From my experience ABA is like your child’s personal assistant. They follow them around where ever they go correcting the behaviors related to Autism. For example Bug used to slap the table while experiencing high levels of anxiety (ie homework). From a outsiders view it looked odd and strange. His ABA knew this will draw attention. It could cause social issues down the road at school, sports or with friends. His ABA helps by teaching him another way to express and handle his anxiety and phase out the stem.
She also teaches him what society thinks is normal. I know, that comment makes me laugh too. What is normal anymore? But seriously, she teaches him people have “bubbles”, we don’t like things shoved in our face, it’s not appropriate to act like a chicken, and other helpful things. She is his be all end all.
ABA can teach techniques and provide baselines in which children can grown and base their learning upon. It can help them with listening, follow directions, learning to read and more. I think we can easily take for granted the simple things we learn as children like playing pretend, games with friends and more. But what if a child is not born with those instincts? ABA helps teach them even the basics of childhood.
I want to add that there are days where I often feel they are parenting him. At the end of the night I feel they have more of a parental influence than I do. I have cried and shed tears, but I wipe them away knowing I am being their parent. I am the one who reached out and found the help my children needed. All I want is for my son to feel like he fits in. I never want the day to come when I need to explain to him he has autism. Like I have said before; he will define his life and not the other way around.