Written by: Dolores Alvarez, BCBA
ABA therapy has been labeled as the most effective treatment for individuals with Autism. Many people ask how effective or successful is it? The effectiveness of ABA can be determined by a few different factors.
The Earlier, The Better
The earlier a child receives ABA therapy, the better. Research has shown early intensive intervention can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to learn new skills and increase their success. This is the most critical time when therapists can promote a child’s catch-up trajectory and teach them skills that children their age are demonstrating. If you ever have a concern about your child’s development, consult with your pediatrician. Now yes, the earlier the better, but later ABA therapy is also effective. There are still skills and focus areas ABA therapy can target in older children, adolescents and adults. Once an individual receives ABA therapy later in life, treatment is more focused based, targeting deficit areas versus catching them up to their peers.
Number of Hours
The number of hours your child accesses can have a great impact on your child’s success. Younger children in early intensive intervention can access up to 35-40 hours a week to ensure ABA is being provided at full capacity. It’s important to see how many hours your provider recommends. View recommended hours as your child’s prescription for ABA therapy. If your child doesn’t use the hours recommended, then their intervention may not be as successful as it could be.
Parent involvement will not only boost success rate of your child’s progress with ABA therapy, but it will also facilitate success outside of session, after ending ABA treatment and maintaining long-term effects. Parents play a critical role when the therapist is not there by encouraging their child to continue using the skills they have learned and challenging them to learn more. Participation in treatment can provide parents with the tools needed to successful maintain skills, manage behaviors and even fade out ABA treatment as needed.