If your child is affected by an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), they may benefit from Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapy or what some might call autism therapy. Our team of ABA therapists can tailor ABA therapies specifically for your child’s unique condition. The results of ABA therapy can be life-changing as we can often achieve safe, positive, and effective behavior change. To learn more or to get started visit Colorado Behavior and Learning Group in Colorado Springs today:
What Is Autism Spectrum (ASD)?
Autism Spectrum Disorder refers to a range of characteristics that create issues with social skills, both verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and learning. Many children with ASD focus on repetitive behaviors. For example, if you notice your child doing a simple task to completion, only to start again from the beginning, that may be an early sign of autism. Children with autism spectrum disorder often have additional conditions like hyperactivity, anxiety, or depression.
According to the CDC, 1 in 44 children in the U.S. was diagnosed with ASD, with boys being four times more likely to have ASD than girls. Autism is linked to the spectrum because of the varying level of characteristics and levels that your child may be dealing with. While some children may have mild autism and struggle with a simple need for routine, others can have a major struggle with everyday activities and basic social skills. If you believe your child is struggling with autism, the first step is to discuss specific issues you have noticed with a medical professional and then schedule an in-depth evaluation.
It is important to remember that there is no one type of autism, but many different types. Additionally, many children may show certain characteristics of ASD without actually being autistic.
What are the Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder?
There are many signs and characterisms of a child (or adult) on the autism spectrum. Most become noticeable by around 9 months old, although there may be earlier signs. These characteristics vary depending on the child’s place on the spectrum. There are basic characteristics that can indicate ASD as well as more specific ones you may also notice.
Basic Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Delayed language and communication skills
- Delayed learning skills
- Obsession with routine, becoming upset if that routine is even mildly interrupted
- Lack of development of movement
- Shows strong potentially unusual interest in highly repetitive behaviors
- Plays with toys the same way each time, becoming upset when there is even a minor disruption
- Unusual emotional reactions (overreacting or lack of emotional reaction)
- Poor sleeping and eating schedule
- Seems inattentive one minute and hyperactive the next
- Shows anxiety or fear in normal circumstances
More Specific Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Lack of basic facial expressions including happiness, sadness, excitement, and anger
- Lack of eye contact
- Lack of vocal expression
- Seems disengaged with physical stimuli such as toys or stuffed animals
- Not responding to their name or nicknames you commonly use to address them
- Unwilling or interest in playing hands-on games like patty cake by 1 year of age
- Not using common hand gestures like waving hello and goodbye or blowing a kiss
- Not pointing to objects they desire or find interesting
- Doesn’t react or notice when other children or close adults are angry or sad by 2 years of age
- Not joining in playtime with other children by 3 years of age
- Not playing imaginary games like dress-up or fantasy worlds by 4 years of age
- Lack of interest in singing, dancing, or other forms of self-expression
How Can ABA Therapy (Autism Therapy) Help with ASD?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) focuses on a scientific approach to applying techniques to change behavior, which has made it the gold standard for autism therapy. ABA therapy uses a very unique treatment plan tailored to your child’s specific autism issues. The approach and behavior exercises are adapted to meet your child at their level of behavioral characteristics.
One of the core reasons that ABA therapy has been so successful in working with children with autism spectrum disorder is the use of positive reinforcement. Your trained ABA professional will develop an outline of goal behaviors. Each goal behavior is broken down into small steps to work toward the final goal. These are designed to replace your child’s behaviors that can affect their ability to thrive due to autistic characteristics. When a behavioral goal is achieved by your child, they are rewarded with positive reinforcement like praise or time with an activity they enjoy. Over time positive reinforcement enforces those goal behaviors outside of therapy and in your child’s everyday environment.
Getting Started with ABA Therapy
Get started with autism therapy today: