Thursday, April 12, 2012

Is ABA the Right Approach For School Systems Teaching Autistic Children?

Children are very diverse. If you walk into any classroom and ask students to tell you what they most enjoy doing, you are going to get a very wide range of responses. What most of these children will have in common, however, is the ability to easily learn concepts taught by their educators. For children with autism spectrum disorder, even this basic ability is hampered by the fact that their brains simply work differently. In order to learn in a classroom, they must first work on learning how to learn. ABA therapy is a proven method of doing just that.

The brain of a child with autism spectrum disorder works very differently than the brain of most children. Essentially the neural pathways that help children make connections between behaviors and consequences are simply not there. One thing that science has taught us, however, is that the brains of these children are not simply stuck in this state. With proper ABA therapy, these connections can be developed and these students can often learn to perform as well as or possibly even better than their peers in a classroom setting.

So, why ABA therapy? There are a number of different therapies available for students with autism, after all. The difference, however, is that ABA is proven to work on many levels. Not only does it teach the fundamentals of learning, but it can help to condition behavior, teaching these students how to act in a social setting and what to do in a certain scenario. These are skills that will have a lifelong impact on your child. With ABA therapy, your child can learn how to react to other students, what to do if they ever get lost, and even how to form social bonds with new people.

Applied Behavior Analysis has been around for a few decades and is considered to be the most effective form of treatment for autism. While other methods show success in some areas, studies show that children taught using ABA therapy at a young age exhibit greatly improved social and educational skills well into their adult lives. In other words, ABA is about permanently teaching children with autism spectrum disorder. While many methods offer temporary solutions, teaching ABA in schools can equip students for a lifetime of learning. The use of DVD training programs and classroom materials can be a highly effective way for any school system to provide educators with the tools necessary to give these students a head start on the rest of their lives.

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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