When our oldest son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 3, he was placed in an early intervention pilot program which used Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as its foundation. Little did we know it was the miracle we had been looking for.
As part of the pilot program, the ABA teacher came to our home and taught us the basics of using ABA when interacting with our son. We learned how to communicate effectively by using short, concise sentences (“Sam sit.”) and how to verbally prompt (“Put the block in the box.”) and/or physically prompt him (by placing my hand on top of his to physically guide the action) to respond to our request. We reinforced this desired behavior through a positive reward system by offering verbal praise, extra play time with a favorite game, a prize from the treasure box, or a special outing.
While both of our boys had the same diagnosis with similar sensory, social and fine motor skills issues, it was interesting to see how differently we had to tailor the ABA therapy to fit each child’s personality. In other words, what worked well for one child didn’t always work well for the other, and that’s why it’s important to have a well-trained, highly skilled ABA therapist to offer alternative solutions in working to meet your child’s individual needs.
For more information on ABA:
My blog posts with examples of ABA therapy:
Using verbal prompts to help with echolalia and other speech issues:
from my old blog Adventures and Misadventures of Raising Brainiacs:
an example of using “gentle hands and words” without prompting from a teacher or parent