Applied Behaviour Analysis as an Early Intervention for Autism

October 23, 2022
Applied Behaviour Analysis as an Early Intervention for Autism

A recent 2021 study of 7 million children found that one in fifty-seven children in the UK is on the autistic spectrum. With so many children living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), this highlights the need for effective forms of early intervention to help young people live more fulfilled lives. One of the most effective forms of intervention for children with autism is Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA). This type of behavioural intervention exists to improve social, communication and learning skills through positive reinforcement strategies. But what exactly is ABA and how does it work?

What is Applied Behaviour Analysis?

Applied Behaviour Analysis is a specialised form of intervention designed to help young children on the autism spectrum develop a wide variety of life skills and improve human behaviour. ABA usually takes place in a one-on-one session with a specially trained behaviour analyst to have a positive impact on the life of the child. The overall goal of ABA is to improve the child’s social and emotional skills by using interventions that are rooted in the principles of behaviour analysis.

ABA works to understand how behaviour works, how behaviour is affected by surrounding environments and how learning takes place. This helps reach the overall goal of increasing positive behaviours and decreasing negative behaviours that can be viewed as harmful or affect learning.

Applied Behaviour Analysis and autism

Applied Behaviour Analysis can be especially helpful for children with autism. Unlike previous forms of intervention used many years ago, modern-day ABA can be flexible, fun and tailored for each particular child. This means you don’t have to worry about a ‘one size fits all’ approach being used as behaviour analysts appreciate and understand the many complexities and differences in children.

How does ABA work?

The great thing about Applied Behaviour Analysis is that it can be provided in various locations including the home, school, community and more. It provides children with useful skills for day-to-day life and helps encourage positive behaviour.

While there are various strategies used in ABA, one of the key points of focus in an ABA session is positive reinforcement. Every time a child exhibits a positive behaviour, they receive a reward such as praise, a toy, playtime, etc. The use of rewards encourages children to continue displaying positive behaviours.

Early intervention

Research has shown that early interventions for autism result in more long-term positive effects. Early interventions can take place from as early as 2 or 3 years of age. As this is a pivotal time when a child’s brain is forming, using ABA early on in a child’s life is much more likely to be effective in the long run. Early intervention can result in better language and motor skills, a higher IQ and a better understanding of a child’s behaviour. It can help teach children a wide variety of life and social skills and better equip them for the future.

Get in touch

Here at Unlimited Possibilities ABA, we work to provide bespoke evidence-based intervention programs to help your child or young adult live more fulfilled lives. If you’d like to find out more about ABA and how it can help your child, visit our website or book a call to speak to one of our specialists.

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