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The Debunking 8 ABA Therapy Myths

by Eric

In ABA therapy, the therapist will come up with a personalized approach where the child will be rewarded for positive things. The idea is to reinforce good behavior while discouraging unwanted behavior.

Applied Behavioral Analysis is a kind of therapy that is used to understand a child’s environment and its effects on the child’s behavior.

For many years, ABA therapy has been used to diagnose children with autism. If your child has recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), we suggest you visit the ABA therapy Chicago clinic and get help for your child.

Although the therapy process is very much like the normal therapy session, people have developed some myths and here, we’d like to clear that up by debunking them. so, have a detailed look at each myth and its facts.

1-      ABA Therapy Only Works for People who are Diagnosed with Autism

ABA is not a particular illness. Based on the diverse environments, it can have a variety of symptoms. It examines a variety of impairments, diseases, and social problems. Depending on the symptoms, various therapy modalities are employed. Because even if something has meaning for one individual, it might not work for another. The focus remains on what functions for that specific person. Therefore, each patient would receive a customised course of treatment without necessarily having an autism diagnosis.

ABA is usually used in the respective fields:

  •         Speech-Language Pathology
  •         Academics
  •         If an individual has any addictions

2-      ABA Therapy is Not a Scientifically Based Treatment

Although we find concrete proof of ABA in the 1970s, ABA studies date back to the 1950s.  The National Institute of Health promotes ABA therapy and considers it valid. ABA has been crucial to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder in children. With ABA, many children can get better and realize their positive talents. So, it is completely baseless to say that ABA therapy is not scientifically based treatment because it is supported by the following:

  •         National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  •         NIH
  •         U.S. Surgeon General
  •         The National Standards Project

3-      ABA is a New Treatment

Continuing the argument from our previous heading, ABA is not a newfound treatment. It has been there for at least a century. Psychologists like John B. Watson promoted behaviorist views. B.F. Skinner himself originated and founded applied behavior analysis. Then some psychologists used this to reduce behavioral problems among people. So, there has been significant research and development in this field.

4-      ABA Mistreats Children Because of Its Manipulative Process

In ABA therapy positive behavior is encouraged by giving rewards but some people think that positive reinforcement is a form of bribery. This is completely out of context here as a positive reinforcer is only given after the wanted behavior has been achieved and we want to see that behavior in the future as well.

A reward might induce the likelihood of repeating the desired behavior and that’s exactly what we want. But when something unwanted happens and we don’t want to encourage that behavior, ABA therapists associate nothing with that behavior and try to elicit a specific response. However, this reinforcing technique is proven scientifically and not a manipulative process.

Some people think that food is being used as a prop for reinforcing behavior but in reality, but it is not true. Food is generally a good thing for everyone, but ABA therapists use other things as well depending on what an individual prefers. Each reinforcing behavior is individualized and tailored according to the child’s needs, abilities, and personal motivators.

5-      Punishment is Used in ABA Therapy

In the early years of ABA therapy, there were punishments used in ABA therapy sessions but not anymore. There used to be self-harm associated with unwanted and negative.

It has been years since punishment has been banned from all institutions. Now, positive reinforcement is used but punishment is removed from standard practice. If your child is diagnosed with Autism, you can trust the ABA therapist that they will not use any kind of punishment for your child. These days ABA therapists focus on talking about negative behaviors and what makes them do it and are discouraged just by speaking.

6-      All You Can Do in Therapy is Play

Again, this myth is so out of context. When you are trying to analyze a child, you are going to ask them to do the things that they do in their daily routine. Playing is part of their lives for that young age. If they don’t play, they don’t have a normal attitude and it is not good.

They could have different sports or gaming interests, but playing is only a way to understand their behavior. Children reveal their true colors through playing so it helps the ABA therapists.

Besides the analysis, Play therapy will allow the child and their guardians a chance to bond. This bond will help them to communicate better. Some children can get over their social and speech difficulties. Even if they don’t speak much, they will be able to do non-verbal communication. They also get a sense of excitement when they are in control. By analyzing a kid closely while they are playing ABA therapist can form a plan to help the kid.

7-      ABA is Not Based on the Real Human Experience

People think that ABA therapy is not based on the real human experience. They believe that all learned behaviors have an antecedent and a consequence, and those consequences shape our behavior. For instance, most people work to earn a monetary reward and would stop working if there is no monetary reward anymore. But ABA therapists only encourage behavior that is positive and allows the person to feel good with that even if it is the concept of earning money.

8-      ABA Trains a Child to Act without Thinking

Practice makes perfect, and when kids practise appropriate behaviour for a long time, they don’t have to think about it before acting. But it’s for your everyday activities. Through ABA therapy, a kid can develop habits based on how the brain learns to complete a moderately challenging everyday job.

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