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Questions about ABA therapy
4 replies to this topic
Posted 11 August 2016 - 10:44 PM
I was after some feedback regarding ABA, has it worked for you and is it worth the cost. I think I could only afford it for 6 months max - is this period of time enough to see any results?
My son was diagnosed last year and has just turned 3. His speech is not great even though we have been doing speech therapy for 18 months. However he was nonverbal and also possibly has dyspraxia so labelling things is a big improvement. He has difficulty with listening and following instructions and struggles with things outside his routine.
I saw some other threads on the topic but noticed there were a lot of PMs - I'd love to hear from you if you had the time to provide feedback or recommendations if you had any. We live in the Northern Gold Coast in Qld.
Posted 13 August 2016 - 12:07 AM
Yes, it has helped in many areas. No, I don't think six months is enough. You'd be better off trying for at least one year and being extensively trained so you can delivers hours yourself and reduce the costs. ABA is not rocket science but does require consistency of approach.
ABA was a good fit for my anxious, unfocused, sociable, non-sleeping, non-playing, bright, functionally non verbal child. It doesn't suit every kid on the spectrum though. It gave my child the structure he needed and it gave us tools to teach him in a very explicit and concrete way.
Having said that, there is good ABA and bad ABA. You need to read about the pros and cons and you need to be on top of your therapists and provider and really critically evaluate what they are doing (same as any therapy). ABA can 'force' compliance in various ways and this is not a good thing IMO - that's bad ABA.
I think it's a good framework for teaching skills and things like toilet training and, in our case, being able to identify emotions and learn to self regulate. IMO, it's not the right therapy for development of the 'self' - it is a framework for skill building.
My functionally non verbal child who was just shy of 3 at diagnosis now does not stop talking (three years later). This is partly due to ABA, partly due to other interventions and partly due to natural development.
Can't help on providers as live elsewhere but ask around and do your homework. Be a critical consumer for any therapy you choose.
Posted 13 August 2016 - 08:31 PM
ABA cost us $40k in the first year. Out of pocket would have been about $25, after rebates and funding.
We did it intensively for about 18 months then dropped the hours and numbers of therapists, and focused on social skills development (shadowing at daycare and preschool). It was worth it, although very exhausting and required huge commitment. My younger son was only 6 months old when we started ABA with his older brother, and I really can't remember many of his early milestones as I was so overwhelmed and consumed by ABA and EI.
I don't think 6 months is enough, but the duration and time commitment depends on the child. You can reduce costs by providing some of the therapy yourself. We did the ABA course but hired Uni students to do the actual therapy.
We did ABA through a very popular Sydney centre, so can't help you with recommendations sorry.
Posted 15 August 2016 - 01:32 PM
Thanks a lot for your replies, really appreciate it. It sounds like a year might be better. It's hard to afford though.
Posted 15 June 2017 - 12:07 PM
Circle time is one of the most common classroom activities that most parents with young children diagnosed with Autism express concern. Circle time is a time for group instruction that involves activities such as group singing, dancing, and reading. Circle time is essential for children as it lays the foundation towards group participation and structure in higher academic settings such as lectures. As children get older, circle time can also be essential in setting them up for success in other settings such as board meetings and seminars. Circle time should be fun and engaging, but some children may struggle to stay motivated and in turn engage in problem behaviors.
ABA therapy can help by first understanding the reasoning behind problem behavior during circle time. Second, working towards decreasing the problem behavior. Third, increasing an alternative and more appropriate behavior. For example, a child is engaging in slapping the floor due to wanting attention from the teacher. With ABA therapy, it can be used towards removing attention when the child is engaging in floor slapping, and providing attention towards more appropriate behavior such as sitting quietly or following group instructions.
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