Our ABA Therapy Experience

ABA has been a great experience for our family. Our son has Autism Spectrum Disorder and ABA therapy has helped him learn skills and improve his behavior and better his communication skills. The therapist work with him one-on-one and help him to practice the social and emotional skills he is learning in a safe and fun environment. We have seen great progress in our son since starting his therapy sessions and we are very grateful for the help and support of the therapist. We spoke with other parents of autistic kids and learned that they were seeing positive behaviors more often that negative behaviors after just a few therapy sessions! They spoke of bettering social skills and overall better daily living skills.

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[00:00:00] Heather: Carrie was Mikey's first BCBA . And she helped us with our initial goals for Mikey. And I remember back in the day, uh, it, it took him awhile to, you know, to meet these goals, but they were, uh, walking in doors. Um, so you know, very important on safety because Mikey wanted to run any run everywhere. And so it was just the importance of walking and sitting next to an adult and also the, uh, the personal space,

[00:00:24] Heather: Because he liked to hug everybody and get up in everybody's lap, even if they were a stranger. So we just have this joke that Mikey never met a stranger, but it's not a very safe, uh, and never, not a very safe aspect of his personality.

[00:00:37] Heather: So we needed to teach him some boundaries.

[00:00:40] Heather: Carrie. Thank you so much for joining us today.

[00:01:15] Carrie: Yes. Thank you so much for having me.

[00:01:18] Heather: Okay. So today's podcast episode. We're going to be talking a lot about ABA therapy or applied behavior analysis. And just for our listeners out there, can you let us know, like what is applied behavior analysis before we get into some, some awesome questions for.

[00:01:36] Carrie: Sure. Yeah. So, um, applied behavior analysis therapy or ABA therapy is really just, um, the study of learning and behavior, um, over time. And it's usually a one-on-one therapy. It can be implemented in small groups as well. Um, but it really focuses on improving social communication behavior and learning skills through a variety of reinforcement strategies.

[00:02:04] Heather: Okay. Awesome. All right. So please tell us about your background and your career. So. far.

[00:02:11] Carrie: Sure. So, um, I found out about ADA when I was in my undergrad program, um, at the university of North Carolina at Wilmington, I was in a special education program. Um, we were required to take, uh, an ABA class and once I took it, I fell in love with it. Um, And really I wanted to make a more profound impact on kids, um, kind of in the one-on-one setting instead of the classroom settings.

[00:02:40] Carrie: So that's kind of when I chose to continue my education, um, and applied to the graduate program at Florida Institute of technology, um, and, um, head down there to get my degree in applied behavior analysis.

[00:02:58] Heather: That's awesome. Awesome. So what is your typical day look like now?

[00:03:04] Carrie: Um, so now, uh, I work in the in-home setting mostly. And so once I get up in the morning and get my kids off to school, then I'm in the car to head to my first client's house or their school, or sometimes it's a part of. It can really vary. And so I see usually up to three clients a day for about two hours each and I provide supervision and oversight to the therapist or the registered behavior technicians who are already there for fight providing, um, the adaptive behavior therapy.

[00:03:42] Carrie: Um, and so, um, I drive from client to client and that keeps me busy.

[00:03:48] Mike: What are some of the more interesting places where you've gone with your clients to actually help and, and perform the therapy?

[00:03:57] Carrie: Sure. Um, parks doctor's office. Walmart grocery stores. I mean, because these are real life like settings, where people have struggles with their kids, whether it's running off or throwing a tantrum and, you know, they need help with the day to day. And that includes like going to get your groceries or taking your kids to the park or.

[00:04:19] Carrie: You know, it, it could be anything like that. I've even done therapy in the car with kids who have challenging behaviors about, you know, no, they want to go right. And their parent has to go left in the car. Um, so.

[00:04:33] Mike: That's pretty cool. We remember, um, feeling a little bit awkward when we asked our, our therapist to join us, but we're like, Hey, would you, how would you feel about like going bowling with us? Because he melts down when he's not winning. And, uh, um, she was really open to it. We were, we were surprised. Cause then it opened us up to other opportunities to, uh, to include her and, and his, his growth.

[00:04:54] Heather: Yeah. Another

[00:04:55] Heather: example is that we have the ABA therapist go with us to one of Grace's birthday parties,

[00:05:01] Carrie: Oh, yeah.

[00:05:02] Heather: when Mikey doesn't get all of the attention on him and people are singing happy birthday to his sister and she's blowing out her candles. That's one of the triggers for him to have behaviors.

[00:05:12] Heather: And I want to be able to focus on hosting a party, not, you know, and then when she said she would be willing to go to the birthday party with us, I was like, oh my gosh, that's amazing.

[00:05:22] Carrie: Yeah. I mean, that's just an example. It's like, you know, you need help in real life scenarios and that's one of them for free.

[00:05:30] Mike: No, that's really good. Are there any places where you would like be like, no, I'm not going to go there with you.

[00:05:35] Carrie: Um, no, I can't think of any pretty much wherever I'm needed. I try to try to make myself available to help, you know, the kid and the parents.

[00:05:45] Heather: That's awesome. That's awesome. So are there different types of ABA?

[00:05:51] Carrie: Oh, yes, there, there is a large number of ABA approaches. Um, so the one that people think of, usually when they think of ABA is discrete trial training, or they refer to it as DTT. And it's usually where you spend more time at the table. It's a less naturalistic setting. Um, it's usually done in a clinical setting because it is much more strict.

[00:06:15] Carrie: Um, um, and a lot of times the skills are broken down into smaller steps. Um, and each target is practiced like a set number of times and rewarded for closer and closer approximations to the desired response. Um, they use rewards like token stickers, candy free time. It could be anything. Um, so that's typically what people think of, but there's also like incident or.

[00:06:39] Carrie: Teaching or like natural environment teaching, which kind of uses the same concept of like breaking things down and teaching things a set number of times, but it's much more natural. So it happens in the natural environment where the kid plays, where the kid, um, interacts naturally and you kind of wait for that opportunity to come up.

[00:06:59] Carrie: So if the kid has motivation, um, for a ball and they want to play with the ball, then you can prompt them to say, Um, so it looks a lot more natural. Um, and then you also have other types of, um, ADA's such as like peer T, which is pivotal response training, which really does teaches more general skills, um, and pivotal skills.

[00:07:23] Carrie: And it's much more of a play-based environment as well. Um, And then you also have the early start Denver model, which teaches multiple skills, kind of in the same exercise. Um, and then verbal behavior is another one. That's one of my, uh, preferred. Uh, methods to use as well. And it focuses more on the function of language instead of the form.

[00:07:46] Carrie: So looking at language itself as a behavior, which can be either, you know, it can be reinforced, um, and increased over time based on how you use it. And the idea that you don't truly have an understanding for a word, unless you can use it across a variety of, of ways asking for it, labeling it, answering questions about it.

[00:08:10] Carrie: So those are kind of some of the main ones, but there's, I'm sure there's many

[00:08:14] Mike: when you talk about verbal behavior, um, could you walk through a couple of examples, um, that that comes from.

[00:08:23] Carrie: Yeah, I'd love to. So, um, for instance, if you're talking about the word candy and that's what you're talking

[00:08:29] Mike: I'm always

[00:08:30] Carrie: um,

[00:08:30] Mike: candy.

[00:08:31] Carrie: Of course who's not. Yeah. Especially the end of the day. Um, so you're talking about the word candy and you're going to start with, you know, can you, can this kid make a request by saying candy or using sign language, taxes, candy, or even using their communication device to access candy?

[00:08:51] Carrie: We start with a request because that's where kids are most motivated. Um, to use language, you know, if you get something, like I say, candy, I get candy. Wow. This is a great thing. I'm going to do this more often. And that's, you know, that's what we're hoping for. Um, and then over time, you know, we might look at, okay, now I say candy.

[00:09:12] Carrie: Can you say candy? So can they echo that? Um, also if I'm like, uh, what's something, you know, small, sweet. And yummy that's in a rapper, you know, and then can they answer the word candy? Um, that's that's another example. Um, and then later, you know, they might even get into like, can you read the word candy?

[00:09:34] Carrie: Can you write the word candy, things like that. So, you know, and, and Skinner is the one who, um, came up with this verbal behavior concept and he really said, unless you can identify, um, a word for each of those areas, then you don't truly have an understanding. For the word candy.

[00:09:54] Mike: Okay. So it sounds like it's geared more toward those obviously. Well, not obviously, but it sounds like it's geared more toward those kiddos that are just having a hard time communicating. Maybe their needs are probably anything.

[00:10:06] Carrie: Yeah. Yeah. Sure. And I mean, it can start very simple, but it can also go very, very complex, um, as well. So that's just kind of like the start of it, but yeah.

[00:10:17] Mike: So it seems correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like each one of these, you know, approaches are, I guess, tools in a toolbox that you could use for like someone like Mikey, because I've obviously seen, we've seen the natural environment stuff we have. Definitely. Um, um, I don't know. I know, I know that there's other.

[00:10:38] Mike: There are other ways that we've seen some of the therapy where we rate whether or not this is a big problem or a small problem or no problem, or, and trying to use our words with our feelings. Like, I just don't know what bucket those fall in, but it sounds like these are all just great, um, things that you sort of flow from one to the next, but, um, do you have the, you have a preferred approach that you, like, you seem to gravitate?

[00:11:04] Mike: It seems to, um, Um, why am

[00:11:10] Carrie: verbal

[00:11:10] Mike: a blank? Verbal de.

[00:11:12] Carrie: Yeah. So, um, I definitely. Early on in my career, I'm at fit. And then the first clinic I worked at here, um, in the Austin area was a verbal behavior based clinic. Um, so I'm definitely, I have a preference for rural verbal behavior, but you know, across the last 10 years, I've just found that you got to do what works for the kids sometimes.

[00:11:37] Carrie: And the settings, sometimes verbal behavior. Isn't the answer. Um, you know, some kids may only respond to natural environment teaching or, um, discrete trial training, or it could be anything. Um, so I've kind of more gravitated towards like, um, a mixture of all of them, um, and really looking at the individual, the kid and seeing what works for them and what works for their family too.

[00:12:02] Carrie: So,

[00:12:03] Heather: Yeah, I know. Well, you know, what I'm curious about is I know the reasons why we signed Mikey up for ABA therapy, but what are some of the, the popular reasons that company that families come from?

[00:12:14] Mike: you?

[00:12:16] Carrie: Um, it, I mean, I've seen. A variety of reasons, but usually it's just because, you know, they have problem behaviors, social skill, deficits, communication deficits, and it's gotten to the point where they, the family feels it's really limiting the child and their family's quality of life.

[00:12:34] Heather: Mm.

[00:12:35] Carrie: Um, uh, sometimes schools refer kids to ABA therapy as well.

[00:12:42] Carrie: Um, because they, the school can. Provide all that the kid needs. Uh, so it just really depends, but those are the main reasons.

[00:12:51] Mike: So outside of like behavior, because it's obviously like in a BA right. Um, outside of like behavior, are there other skills that, that you as a therapist actually are able to help promote within. You know, the

[00:13:06] Carrie: So, so you say without behavior, but in the ABA world, everything is behavior. Um, pretty much like if, um, The only thing, that's not behavior. We always use this little lingo. It's like, if a dead man can do it, it's not behavior. Everything else is behavior.

[00:13:26] Mike: Got it.

[00:13:26] Carrie: So yes, yes, yes. So, um, that's how we decide, you know, and come up with a behavior definitions.

[00:13:34] Carrie: It's like Canada, man, do this. Hmm. I don't think so. Yes. A dead man can be off task. Right. So you can't call it off task or, you know, something to that effect. But, um, You know, what's your, what's your thinking is, um, we do a variety of things that are considered behavior. I mean, this can be, um, anything from social skills working on turn-taking working on life skills, working on chores, um, communication, obviously all of that's the behavior.

[00:14:06] Carrie: Um, yeah, so we really, we do a variety of things because almost everything you do is.

[00:14:15] Heather: Yeah I just remember when Mikey went to ABA therapy and, you know, just remembering what some of his goals were and, you know, again, it was like a big one was the not.

[00:14:26] Mike: well. And now that you say, now that you give me the definition of behavior, I was like, yeah, we definitely were there to solve some behavior kind of issues, but also like the byproducts were.

[00:14:36] Mike: Like his personality, um, shifted, um, into the positive. And I mean, he got better at, for example, sharing how he felt, which is like a double-edged sword. Like sometimes, you know, we don't want to know that he's like really, really bothered. We're just like, dude, put your toothbrush in your mouth and brush your teeth.

[00:14:55] Mike: Like, I don't want to hear, I don't want to hear that it bugs you and that you feel like you're gonna, you know, hurl. You're not, it's fine. It's a little bit of mint anyway.

[00:15:03] Mike: That's still doesn't happen to this day, not at all, but, um, we did see some interesting byproducts that were, that did come from like, like you were saying, um, you know, when you get into a building we're, we're walking, excuse me.

[00:15:17] Mike: And we're not running through the halls at school. It's not important to be the first. And, uh, turn-taking. I mean, I struggle with that right now. Heather's trying to talk and I'm just covering her mouth and it's my turn to talk, but.

[00:15:32] Mike: You know, I, I just, I, I thought that was really cool. I think it was really neat, but, uh, the one thing that really stood out only because we saw it as a safety issue for Mikey was that, um, gosh, at least three times I saw him do it, but he would just approach a random stranger and he would sit up on their lap Hort.

[00:15:48] Mike: Do you remember? I think he was trying to, when he would give you a hug, he wouldn't keep both feet on the ground. Right? He'd want to jump up into your

[00:15:54] Carrie: Right. Yeah. He would wrap his legs around you as soon as you hugged him, you know, which is cute when he's a little kid, but. Not, you know, if he's doing it to strangers and as he gets older, it's definitely

[00:16:05] Mike: No it's called assault and

[00:16:07] Carrie: Yes. Yes.

[00:16:08] Mike: can't do that. I can't do that anyway. Um,

[00:16:14] Heather: Oh gosh,

[00:16:15] Heather: no, my goodness. So, um,

[00:16:19] Mike: Why are you looking at me? Like, it's okay, we can cut this. Well, no, you said something a few minutes ago about, um, you know, everything is a behavior and that even like life skills and as I was, as we were first kind of getting into this too, I was, I was learning that, you know, the life skills of like, here's, here's sort of the sequence of how to get dressed, right.

[00:16:41] Mike: Or an end, why they're kind of important or here's a sequence of, of. It's kind of taking care of your body, you know, um, brushing your teeth and how to wash your hair and things like that too. So it, this kind of leads me to this question. Is there, is there kind of a maximum age, um, that ABA therapists aren't engaged with kids or is it more geared toward a younger age or is it, is it across the.

[00:17:09] Carrie: Um, It can be for any age. Um, at my current company, we see, you know, as young as like two years old, um, And we even work with adults currently. Uh, so there's really no age limit that ABA can be effective. I will say the brain is much more malleable when those, in those younger years, which is why typically we like to see, you know, more hours early on because we can make more of an impact.

[00:17:40] Carrie: Um, And the kids can improve much more rapidly than many years later. Um, not to say that they're not going to make him, you know, you're not going to make an impact. It just might be at a little slower of a pace.

[00:17:54] Mike: Well, then with that being said, do you think it's easier to find therapy for your young one than it would be to find therapy for a teenager or a young adult? Do you think that

[00:18:05] Carrie: Yes. Yes. Most definitely. Um, everybody loves to work. I always, I mean, it's the truth, but that they always like to work with like the cute little young

[00:18:16] Mike: puppies, the puppies.

[00:18:17] Carrie: Yes, yes, exactly. And then, you know, once they get older, you will find in general, There are some ABA clinics that don't even serve past the age of, you know, eight or 10.

[00:18:28] Carrie: Um, and so it's a lot harder to find people to work with them, but it's also a lot, just a lot harder to find services in general, as they get older. Um,

[00:18:40] Heather: Yeah. I remember when, you know, Mikey got diagnosed, you know, he was already in kindergarten and I wished he would have been diagnosed earlier because it's easier to get ABA. And I felt more comfortable with him being an ABA before starting school, because now, you know, he's in school.

[00:18:57] Heather: And then going to ABA after school, it's like, he's done, he's tired.

[00:19:02] Heather: So if he would have been diagnosed before starting kindergarten, he would have had, you know, those hours of his day could have been spent getting therapy so that he could, you know, be a better citizen in the classroom as a kindergartener.

[00:19:15] Heather: Yeah.

[00:19:16] Mike: True. You know, I was, um, I was cruising through Instagram the other day and I found a post and this person had put on there that, uh, um, she wasn't a fan of ABA therapy.

[00:19:27] Mike: And I was, I had originally like, Message like, Hey, I'm curious. Why, why, why not? And then I scrolled through kind of like the post cause they had multiple pages anyway, goofy me for not knowing how Instagram works, I guess. But, so she answered my question. And in there, there were a few things that I thought were, um, interesting, but she didn't like ABA.

[00:19:48] Mike: She, she said that. It, well, at least in her, in her post, she said that, you know, she felt like she was being forced to be a different person and things like that. And I'm just wondering if, if you have found if there's a varying degree of efficacy, and I think you kind of answered that with like, you know, maybe it's a little bit slower as you're older, but have you run into people that, um, that didn't, uh, that don't appreciate that they went through ABA and how have you dealt with that?

[00:20:13] Mike: If you have.

[00:20:14] Carrie: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I mean, right now, I feel like there is a lot of things going on on social media. And even sometimes you hear in the news. Um, about people just not liking ABA and it may be because they had bad experience or, you know, what I've found a lot is that people think about ABA as it was, you know, 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago, which, you know, when ABA first came out, um, Lovaza, he, he was the person who laid the groundwork for our.

[00:20:47] Carrie: Um, but a major downfall of his work was his ethical standards, um, or lack thereof. Um, he, he used mainly verse of methods of teaching and use punishment procedures to decrease problem behaviors instead of focusing on teaching them replacement behaviors and using reinforcement to teach those, um, you know, at the time.

[00:21:12] Carrie: I felt that, um, these methods he was using, it was the only way to get them to stop hurting themselves. Cause he mostly worked with, um, patients who were engaging in high rates of, uh, self-injury like hurting, hitting their heads and things like that. Um, but later in the later years he did retract this statement and said that, um, He thought that problem behavior at the time was just willful disobedience.

[00:21:38] Carrie: Um, when really he's, after he did all that, it's like he found that, um, it was really the only way these individuals had to communicate. Yeah. And so, you know, since all that time, ABA has evolved and moves practitioners today, avoid punishment, push procedures altogether. Like you will rarely find, um, you know, anyone who's going to use electric shock.

[00:22:01] Carrie: You know, everybody that I talk to, all the practitioners I talked to, we use reinforcement. We, you know, it's our ethical duty to identify replacement behaviors for any kind of challenging behavior. And then reinforce that. And, you know, if the kid is struggling to learn a new skill, we're going to help them, we're going to prompt them.

[00:22:22] Carrie: Um, and, and we're going to make it a pleasant experience. Um, and we want to really also let them be who they are. Um, we're not trying to, you know, punish that out of them. We really want to focus on, you know, who they are as a person. Um, but also teach them to, um, engage in social interactions and be able to be safe when out in the community, um, and be able to communicate their wants and needs.

[00:22:50] Carrie: Um, and not to mention now and days like all certified ABA professionals, we follow a strict code of ethics. Um, that's monitored by our certifying board. Um, so we're ethically obligated to do all these things and to make sure. You know, we're maintaining client dignity, um, and, and really listening to the needs of the client and, and their caregivers.

[00:23:17] Mike: You know, I, I, I think it's horrible that like some of the methods, you know, have been used to try to try to sort this stuff out. And as we've continued to learn, you know, people have had to, um, suffer extra. Um, but we've learned, uh, along the way, but, and that's, that's why for me, I was like, all right, I would love to interview her just so I could get a feel for what it is that she went through.

[00:23:42] Mike: Um, so that we could actually kind of compare and contrast and.

[00:23:45] Mike: and,

[00:23:47] Mike: You know, maybe if she were to have a child, you know, consider ABA, even though the experience that she had was was bad. Um, for us. I mean we're super involved, right? We don't, you know, it's rare that we let Mikey out of our sight, unless we know, you know, the rooms on lockdown, the houses I'll knock down that kind of a thing.

[00:24:05] Mike: Even, you know, even right now, he wanted to be riding his bike outside of the park. And we're like, buddy, we're, you know, we're recording an episode and you need to at least be near us. Right. Quiet, but near us. So, you know, I think being a watchful parent, and I'm not placing blame, but I mean, just being a watchful parent will tell you.

[00:24:24] Mike: A ton, right. You know, when your child's comfortable and not comfortable. And, um, if Mikey had any apprehension at all, I think we would have kind of double clicked on it and really tried to figure out what was, what, what he had reservations about, you know, but our experience for the most part has been positive.

[00:24:44] Mike: Would you agree?

[00:24:46] Mike: And, and the improvements that he's made socially have been wonderful. Um, Yeah. I mean, he's, he's begin, he's begun to share a whole lot more. He's begun. I mean, we're still working on having him, you know, thinking about what another person would want when they're over at our home for a sleepover and to accommodate them as a host and to not always do what he wants to do or ignore them, you know, those kinds of things.

[00:25:14] Mike: Um, we're still working on this stuff, but w I think we had a really good base to work from, and I always.

[00:25:21] Mike: Or a therapist who could just be like replace Mikey's, you know, kind of. Focus of, of an angst or whatever at the moment with something that would actually get him moving forward again, where I would just normally be like, you know, we're, we're at an impasse buddy.

[00:25:37] Mike: You're going to have to sit down over there. I'm gonna have to sit down over here and we'll deal with it later. You know? So I envy you guys with the training you have because it just show, it just shows that I could be way more patient and, and I'm way more communicative with, with Mikey.

[00:25:52] Heather: Yeah. Okay. So Carrie, I'm really curious, uh, what are some success stories that you can

[00:25:58] Heather: share with us?

[00:26:00] Carrie: Um, let's see. Well, I mean, obviously some of the best stories that I have in general are being there for like, when a kid first like uses their first word says, mom says that, you know, those are. most momentous occasions to me, um, for awhile, I was really interested in doing like feeding programs as well.

[00:26:23] Carrie: Cause a lot of kids on the spectrum have a aversion to texture with different foods and things like that. Um, I worked with a client who would only eat a certain brand of tortilla chips and, um, A certain grain of hot sod buttons. That's literally everything that was in his diet at this time. Yeah. Um, and so, you know, over time we expanded it to, okay.

[00:26:45] Carrie: Not just these tortilla chips now we're going to do. Different for Tia ships. And then once he could do different towards tortilla chips, that was okay, let's do different kinds of chips. And then once we did that, then it's like, okay, let's find crunchy vegetables or crunchy fruits or, and before you know it, I mean, he was eating foods from all the different food groups.

[00:27:05] Carrie: Um, you know, Even went from like chicken nuggets to like grilled chicken, because that's what his, you know, his parents mostly ate. So that's what we wanted to work towards. Um, and that's, what's healthier for him. So, um, that was definitely one of, um, the best success stories. And then, I mean, just, I potty trained so many kids, um, you know, So, I mean, it's really amazing.

[00:27:33] Carrie: So on, in kids, all ages, you know, not just two and three year olds, but 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 year olds. Um, so you know, those, those are some of the stories that really, um, I, I remember on my bad days, I tried to remind myself of, you know, look at all this good. So.

[00:27:52] Heather: That's awesome.

[00:27:53] Mike: Well, you are doing, you are doing not just good work. You guys are doing great work. Um, I I'm happy that this field has, um, graduated from negative consequences to, you know, To where we are today, where we have redirection and, you know, positive reinforcement. Um, it's, it's, uh, I feel that it's helped us a ton.

[00:28:14] Mike: I can't say that enough. Um, and I just, I just want to thank you for your role in, in helping Mikey become who he's become so far and who he will be eventually as well, and all you other therapists out there also. So, um, you know, like we say, there's, there's so many resources that are out there. Um, sometimes it's just.

[00:28:35] Mike: knowing that that's a resource. Um, but you're, you're likely to find an ABA therapist for your kiddo, and you'll be surprised at all of the, all the good that will come from a little bit of focus time during the week, um, to work out some of the things that need to be worked on. So that was cool. Well, what do you think anything to say the end?

[00:28:58] Heather: You know what I, I missed. No. Based on the experience that we had once my, he got into ABA is that they did a lot of in-clinic with him at first. And that they stressed the importance of getting to know Mikey and doing in clinic. And I can respect that, but it lasted longer than I wanted it to.

[00:29:20] Heather: And I didn't feel like I was being assertive enough with getting in home. And so I would just encourage you guys to get into. Started as soon as possible, because as a parent, you're really going to learn a lot by watching your therapist, uh, work with the child. And when you go to the goals meetings, and you're reviewing the goals, like you'll really see what they're talking about.

[00:29:43] Heather: And you'll be able to say, oh yes, you know, my child is improving in that area and this is how I can continue to help because you're the one that's with your child more. And if you have siblings. Practice with your siblings. And, you know, if, if you don't have siblings, then you can invite neighborhood kids over and practice social skills with neighborhood kids, and you can do it with the guidelines that you see the ABA therapists doing when they're working with your child.

[00:30:08] Heather: And so I just wanted to stress that to you guys, because I, if I could go back one, I would have gotten him into services sooner. And to the in-clinic portion of his ABA therapy would have been.

[00:30:22] Mike: Well, they say it takes a village, right? And, um, sometimes you got to build your village. So at an ABA therapist, if you think it's worth, um, the effort, I just want to encourage you to at least check it out.

[00:30:33] Mike: So that does it for today's episode. I want to thank you guys so much for being a part, Carrie, thank you again for joining us. It was good to see you again.

[00:30:42] Carrie: Yeah, it's great to see you guys do. And thanks so much for having me. I really.

[00:30:47] Mike: Absolutely Absolutely. All right, everybody, you know, Subscribe to us on whatever platform you love to listen. I found out that we are actually on audible right now. That's really cool. So we're on Amazon music on audible and Stitcher on apple podcasts. Of course, Google podcasts has their own service SoundCloud, Spotify, any other website that starts with the S I think what else is out there?

[00:31:05] Mike: Basically, if you listen to a podcast on it, you can find us there and you can subscribe. We'd love to hear from you though. Our phone number is (469) 249-0425. And if you leave us a message, we will be sure to answer your question, maybe even on an episode. And if you would head on over to our website@findingmikeypodcast.com and see what we've got going on there.

[00:31:28] Mike: You'll see our show notes from today, as well as all of other episodes and ways to get in touch with us there. So that does it for today. We thank you guys for your time and we'll see on the next show.

relaxing after ABA therapyWhen we began his ABA program, we wanted certain behaviors to be focused on. We wanted to include other family members and improve in-home social skills. Since we spend so much time around each other, it was important to us to work on problem behaviors in a home treatment setting. This would help me, and US develop better communication with him, and get the best new behaviors. In home, in office and sometimes out in public were where we took advantage of these services. He was even offered this therapy in school!

We saw improvement pretty quick, and after a couple weeks, focused for 4 hours a week, we were starting to see that ABA works, at least with Mikey. He was starting to meet his goal behavior, changing behaviors and miraculously starting to integrate with older children! This is huge for him and is typically hard for people with autism.

acting out prior to ABA therapyABA, or Applied Behavior Analysis, is a highly effective treatment for autism and other developmental disorders. ABA uses a scientific approach to help children learn new social and behavioral skills that encourages positive behavior change and increase desired behavior. The behavior analyst work with the autistic child one-on-one using ABA techniques to help them learn and practice these skills in a safe and fun environment.

We have seen great progress in our son since starting ABA. He has learned his behavior has improved. We try to motivate him with positive reinforcement when he shows desired behaviors. We are very grateful for the help and support of the therapist. If you are considering ABA therapy for your child, we recommend you give it a try!

1. Describe ABA therapy and what can it do for my child

2. How does therapy work – why Positive Reinforcement?

3. What are the benefits of Applied Behavior Analysis

4. Tips for choosing an ABA therapists

Describe ABA therapy and what can it do for my child

ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis. If you have listened to the episode, you may be wondering it it could be a good fit for your child and where to turn to find out.

ABA therapy is a highly successful treatment for autism and other developmental disorders. Applied Behavior Analysis treatment takes a scientific method to help children learn skills and grow socially competent. The therapist works one-on-one with the kid to teach them and practice new abilities in a safe and pleasant atmosphere.

Applied Behavior Analysis treatment is successful because it’s versatile. It can be adjusted to every individual child’s requirements and rate of learning. The therapist works together with the kid’s parents, teachers, and other specialists to make sure that therapy targets are being met and that everyone is on the same page. ABA therapy has been around for a long time, and there’s a great deal of research to support its efficacy.

The benefits of ABA therapy are many. In addition to helping children with autism learn, Applied Behavior Analysis therapy can also help improve behavior. Many parents report that their child is more responsive to ABA therapy than any other type of therapy they have tried.

ABA therapy can be a great option for families dealing with autism. It is an evidence-based treatment that can help children learn new communication skills and improve their behavior. When choosing a therapist, be sure to ask about their experience and certification in ABA therapy, and make sure their treatment philosophy aligns with your own beliefs.

How does therapy work – why Positive Reinforcement?

ABA therapy is based on the principle that all behavior is learned and that skills can be acquired through positive reinforcement. The therapist works with the child one-on-one to help them learn and improve their behavior.

During ABA TherapyApplied Behavior Analysis therapy is individualized to meet the needs of each child. The therapist will create a treatment plan that is tailored to the child’s specific goals. The therapist will then work with the child on a daily basis to help them learn and practice these skills, focusing on positive reinforcement always!

Positive feedback is key in ABA therapy. The therapist will use positive reinforcement to rewards the child for desired behavior. This could be verbal praise, a sticker, or a small treat. The goal is to increase the desired behavior so that the child can learn and grow.

What are the benefits of Applied Behavior Analysis

ABA therapy is a highly successful treatment for autism and other developmental disorders. ABA takes a scientific method to help children learn new skills and grow socially competent. The therapist works one-on-one with the kid to teach them and practice new abilities in a safe and pleasant atmosphere.

ABA treatment is successful because it’s versatile. It can be adjusted to every individual child’s requirements and rate of learning. The therapist works together with the kid’s parents, teachers, and other specialists to make sure that therapy targets are being met and that everyone is on the same page. ABA therapy has been around for a long time, and there’s a great deal of research to support its efficacy.

The benefits of ABA therapy are many. In addition to helping children learn new skills, ABA therapy can also help improve behavior. Many parents report that their child is more responsive to Applied Behavior Analysis therapy than any other type of therapy they have tried.

Tips for choosing an ABA therapists

Additional focus from ABA TherapyWhen you are considering Applied Behavior Analysis therapy for your child, it is important that you find a qualified therapist who has experience working with children with autism. Here are some tips for choosing an ABA therapist:

1. Make sure the therapist is experienced and certified in Applied Behavior Analysis.

2. Ask about the therapist’s treatment philosophy to make sure it aligns with your own beliefs.

3. Be sure to ask about the therapist’s experience working with children with autism.

4. Choose a therapist who you feel comfortable working with and who you feel will be supportive of your family’s needs.

5. Ask other parents for recommendations of therapists they have worked with and been happy with.

6. Once you have found a few qualified therapists, schedule a consultation to meet with them and see if they would be a good fit for your family.

7. Be sure to ask about insurance coverage and fees before scheduling an appointment.

This can be a great option for families dealing with autism. It is an evidence-based treatment that can help children learn skills and improve their behavior. When choosing a therapist, be sure to ask about their experience and certification in ABA therapy, and make sure their treatment philosophy aligns with your own beliefs.

8. ABA resources

There are many great resources available for families considering this therapy for their child. Here are a few of our favorites:

1. The Autism Society of America: This organization provides information and support for families affected by autism spectrum disorders.

2. Autism Speaks: This organization is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and providing support and resources for families affected by autism.

3. The Association for Behavior Analysis International: This organization provides information on ABA and resources for practitioners.

4. The National Autism Center: This organization provides evidence-based resources on treatments for autism spectrum disorders.

5. The Autism Treatment Network: This network is dedicated to providing evidence-based treatment resources for families affected by autism.

ABA can be a great option for families dealing with autism. It is an evidence-based treatment that can help children learn skills and improve their behavior. When choosing a therapist, be sure to ask about their experience and certification in ABA, and MOST IMPORTANTLY make sure their treatment philosophy aligns with your own beliefs.







In conclusion:

OK! ABA has been an amazing experience for our family. Since beginning ABA treatment, we’ve seen tremendous progress in our son, and we appreciate the therapist’s assistance and support. You should also contact other parents of children with autism to learn more about therapists they’ve worked with and we’re happy with. After you’ve identified a few suitable therapists, schedule a consultation to meet with them and discover if they’d be a good fit for your family. ABA therapy may be an excellent alternative for families who are dealing with autism, and we are thankful that it has aided in the development of our child.

While ABA therapy can be an excellent option for families dealing with autism, it is not the only treatment available. There are many other therapies that may be a better fit for your family. Some alternative therapies include:

1. Speech and language therapy: This therapy can help children with autism learn to communicate effectively.

2. Occupational therapy: This therapy can help children with autism improve their motor skills and coordination.

3. Social skills training: This therapy can help children with autism learn how to interact with others effectively.

4. Behavior modification therapy: This therapy can help change inappropriate or problem behaviors.

5. Medication: Some children with autism may benefit from medication to help address symptoms such as aggression or hyperactivity.

You should consult with your child’s doctor to discuss all of the available treatment options and find the one that is best for your family.

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