If you are the parent of a child who has been diagnosed with autism, knowing what to do in regards to their education can be difficult. For children with moderate to severe cases of autism, the ability to function and perform well in a classroom can certainly be hindered. Many schools, however, offer no treatment for autism. Instead, the place children in a classroom with other developmentally disabled children to essentially wait out the school day. If you find that your child is in this situation, one of the best things that you can do is to encourage the school to offer ABA therapy.
ABA, or Applied Behavior Analysis, is a therapy designed to teach kids the very basics of behavior and learning. A quality ABA program will offer teachers a comprehensive set of tools for understanding autism as well as for teaching children who have been diagnosed with it. The therapy revolves around a number of principles, all of which have been repeatedly proven by science to be effective. Of all known autism treatments, ABA is still the only treatment most insurers will cover because it is largely known to be the most beneficial to children.
While there is not yet a cure for autism, ABA training can make a significant difference in classroom function and learning ability. ABA breaks down complex behaviors into smaller chains, teaching them one step at a time so that they can be more easily understood. Few educators seem to understand that autistic children are highly capable of learning and adapting and that it is only the way that they process information that is truly different. Studies show that with proper ABA therapy, many kids can learn at equivalent rates to their peers, especially if treatment is started early.
If your school does not offer ABA therapy, it is certainly an excellent idea to encourage them to start teaching it. Schools can find an excellent course that uses DVDs and paper materials to provide all of the information and skills required to teach ABA within the school system. A single course can be used to train an entire school district, and the costs are designed to be affordable for these educators. Every child deserves the absolute best opportunity to learn and grow with their peers, and Applied Behavior Analysis therapy is certainly the most effective way to offer them this opportunity.
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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