Friday, January 27, 2012

Is Your School System Offering ABA Therapy?

If you are an educator, guidance counselor, or other school faculty member, then you understand the commitment you have made to providing every student that steps into your hallways with the best education possible. With that in mind, what treatments does your school system offer for children with autism spectrum disorders? Are they herded into classrooms for students with special needs? Are they frequently punished for behaving in ways outside of the norm? Sadly, these are the most common treatments in today's schools, despite the fact that offering ABA therapy could make a real difference in behavior and learning.

ABA therapy is more than just a bunch of memorization and mimicking. While these are certainly integral aspects of the therapy, they are designed to help the brains of autistic children form new neural pathways and to literally develop the ability to understand larger concepts. Intensive ABA therapy is shown to help kids learn not only acceptable behavior patterns and specifically taught concepts, but the ability to learn new things in much the same manner as their peers. This is certainly remarkable, and with thirty years of evidence to support the treatment, the real question is why more schools don't offer ABA.

One of the biggest hindrances to offering ABA in school systems is that training is largely cost prohibitive. Sending every educator within a school system to special classes or seminars is unaffordable for most school systems, and educating only one teacher will prove largely inefficient. Many schools see this as a sign that they simply cannot offer ABA therapy, but this is not the case. Through the use of a well designed and well implemented DVD course, it is possible for entire school districts to learn how to provide ABA therapy for autistic children.

While the notion of a DVD course might be surprising at first, it actually makes sense. A well designed course will come with all of the materials needed for both learning and providing ABA therapy. It will also include information on how to contact someone with questions or to get clarification on different aspects of the therapy. One of the best things about a DVD course, however, is that it doesn't just offer one-time training. It can be used time and again to ensure that new teachers are also taught this method. Ensuring that everyone in your school system knows how to handle autistic children is the key to proper educating, and a DVD course in ABA therapy can make that goal attainable.

Garrett Butch is the father of a 6 year old with autism and the founder of Maximum Potential Group.

Maximum Potential has developed courses that train parents and school systems how to work with children with autism.

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