When you are an educator faced with teaching students with autism spectrum disorder, it is easy to become frustrated. Most school systems do not provide the required training and skills necessary to properly teach behaviors and concepts to these students, and standard methods of reprimand and punishment do nothing to curb negative behaviors. Because of this, many autistic children are improperly labeled as “bad” or even removed from the standard classroom environment. Employing ABA therapy within your school system offers teachers a better way to teach autistic students while equipping them with skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.
Applied Behavior Analysis is the term given to a method of teaching that involutes repetition, rigorous data collection and analysis, and prompting to teach children with autism and other developmental disorders how to understand basic behaviors and concepts. In essence, the mind of a child with autism processes ideas, concepts, and behaviors differently and therefore requires a different method of teaching. With ABA therapy, students are taught through prompting and repetition the proper way to have in a certain situation as well as how to complete both simple and complex tasks.
While ABA is certainly beneficial for helping children learn to integrate into a standard classroom setting, it can not be overlooked that the treatment is also essential for teaching life skills. By teaching children the appropriate response to certain external situations or stimuli, you form a pattern of positive behavior that the individual will be able to follow for life. Learning how to interact with others is a necessary life skill, and for autistic children it is certainly one that is best taught through Applied Behavior Analysis. Providing educators with the skills necessary to offer ABA therapy can open a number of doors for children with autism spectrum disorder.
While personal training and symposiums that teach ABA fundamentals are often too costy for school systems, it is important to realize that they are not the only option. ABA courses can be found that operate through a series of instructional DVDs as well as accompanying materials that are used for teaching educators and for teaching students. These programs enable school systems to educate limitless teachers for only a single price, making them cost effective. Teaching kids skills that will provide real world application for the rest of their lives is essential, and ABA therapy proves time and again to be the very best educational tool for students with autism.