Children with autism are most receptive to learning new skills during the early years of their life, and Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is an effective way to help your child learn how to speak and engage in appropriate behaviors. One of the most important aspects of ABA services is that it is done in the home where your child spends their most time in a natural environment. While this type of therapy is intensive, you can use these tips to help everyone enjoy a smooth start that helps your child be successful in their sessions.
Be Honest About Your Child's Challenges
Before your child begins their ABA therapy services, there will be an observational period and a chance for you to meet with their therapist. During this time, it is important for the therapist to gather as much information as possible about your child's abilities. Be prepared by having any reports from prior evaluations available to share during the meeting. You will also want to be honest as you answer questions about your child's behavior. While it can be hard to talk about things such as tantrums and emotional meltdowns, remember that the therapist is not there to judge. Instead, they use the information that you provide to create a personalized therapy plan that addresses your child's specific challenges.
Prepare a Therapy Area in Your Home
Your child's therapy sessions will typically involve both table activities and learning opportunities in their natural home environment. Ask your child's therapist about the kind of space and environment that they need for their sessions. In most instances, it is best for you to have a separate area for your child's therapy sessions in the home where they can work with their therapist without being distracted by noises or siblings. Your child's therapist can let you know about the best ways to set this up such as by adding a table and chairs or a soft rug.
Plan to Be Involved
One of the biggest benefits of in home ABA services is that you are right there to learn along with your child. You can expect to learn strategies to help your child interact in their natural environment during the sessions. Parent training meetings are also held to help you discuss techniques with the therapist along with your child's progress. Although ABA does require a commitment of time and effort from you as a parent, you will begin to see changes in your child that let you know that it is all worth it.