Benefits of ABA Therapy
- Improves social skills
- Enhances independent living skills
- Decreases maladaptive behaviors
- Promotes functional communication skills
- Improves focus and attention
- Increases compliance with directives
- Provides training to the caregiver
Who can benefit from ABA therapy?
Once only acknowledged as a treatment for Autism, there is now evidence supporting the use of ABA therapy to treat other disorders. Some of the most common disorders for which ABA therapy is prescribed, include: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), Global developmental delay (GDD), and Other conduct disorder. While these are the most commonly associated with benefitting from services, children experiencing any behavioral challenges, with or without a diagnosis can benefit from services as well.
What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common childhood disorders in the US. It is estimated that 8-10% of school aged children are diagnosed with ADHD. Subtypes of ADHD include hyperactive-impulsive, inattentive and combined type. Symptoms associated with a diagnosis of ADHD can include: inattentiveness, impulsivity and hyperactivity that are excessive for developmental age, and impairment of academic, social and occupational activities. Hyperactive behavior is characterized as being always “on the go”, frequently restless, constantly getting out of seat, excessive talking and difficulty sustaining focus on the activity presented.
What is ODD?
Oppositional defiant disorder is a disorder that is characterized by two different sets of problems; aggressiveness and a tendency to purposefully bother and irritate others. It is common to see a diagnosis of ADHD present with a diagnosis of ODD. There are more than 3 million cases per year diagnosed in the US. The presenting issues for children with ODD are characterized by a pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least six months. Symptoms associated with a diagnosis of ODD can include: often loses temper, often argues with adults, often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules, often deliberately annoys people, often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior, is often touchy or easily annoyed by others, is often angry and resentful, is often spiteful and vindictive.
What is GDD?
Global developmental delay is a term used when a child takes longer to reach certain development milestones than other children their age. This might include learning to walk or talk, movement skills, learning new things and interacting with others socially and emotionally. It is a form of intellectual disability. GDD does not have a specific set of symptoms like other diagnoses but instead refers to general delays that cannot be more specifically identified at the time of the assessment. Deficits commonly observed leading to a diagnosis of GDD include: delays in motor skills (including crawling and walking), difficulty with fine motor skills, language and communication delays, difficulty understanding communication, difficulty with problem-solving, and/or difficulty with social skills.
The Bottom Line
Irrespective of any diagnosis your child may currently have, ABA therapy is aimed at improving quality of life, where a team of professionals will be implementing a customized treatment plan for your child’s betterment. During treatment your child will gain the skills necessary to improve socialization skills, develop independent living skills, reduce interfering maladaptive behaviors, increase communication skills and increase focus and attention. Your child’s individual needs will be assessed in an ongoing fashion and the ABA therapy treatment plan will be modified to fit specific needs. At A1A Behavioral Health we are, enhancing the quality of life of all patients, families, and all those we serve.