Applied behaviour analysis (ABA) therapy is commonly known as the most effective, safe and evidence-based treatment for autism. It is a scientifically validated approach that allows people to understand behaviour and how one’s behaviour is affected by the environment. Since the 1960s, therapists have been using ABA therapy to assist autistic children and those with related developmental disorders. Over the last decade, there is a particularly dramatic increase in the use of ABA to help children with autism to have a better and productive live.
Besides that, this therapy benefits children with ASD as it promotes the basic skills like looking, listening, requesting and imitating, as well as complex skills like reading, conversing and understanding another person’s perspective. Additionally, on a practical level, the concepts and methods of ABA therapy have helped different children with ASD acquire many other skills such as living in a healthier lifestyles, master in a new language, etc. ABA focuses on the principles that explain how learning happens and one of the examples is positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is when a behaviour is followed by some sort of reward, it will be more likely to be repeated.
A number of completed studies have demonstrated that ABA therapy can improve the communication, social relationships, play, self care, school and employment of an individual. Results for participants in all age groups revealed that ABA increased participation in family and community activities. These studies have shown that many children with autism experience significant improvements in different areas such as learning, reasoning, communication and adaptability when they involve in high-quality ABA programs. Also, some of the preschoolers who involve in early intensive ABA for two years or above acquire adequate skills to participate in regular classrooms with little or no additional support. In some studies as well, researchers found that children who receive intensive ABA therapy generally show greater enhancement in more skills area than those who participate in other intervention. The parents of the children who receive intensive ABA report larger reductions in daily stress too.