People with autism see and experience the world differently. For children with autism, this may make learning in traditional settings more challenging. They may lag behind their peers in meeting important milestones like potty training or speaking.
If you think your child may have autism – or is struggling to learn important early skills – ABA therapy can help!
ABA therapy, or Behavior Therapy, is the only evidence-based treatment for individuals with autism. It’s not a ‘treatment’ in the sense that it cures or changes the individual. Rather, ABA therapists use techniques like discrete trial training, rewards, and play practice to help our kiddos learn new skills in a way that works for them.
Our goal is to help children with autism develop important skills they need to be successful in school, at home, and in their community.
So, what are some of the things that children can learn in ABA therapy? Here are just a few of the important life skills that behavior therapists teach:
Most children transition from diapers to using the bathroom between 2-4 years of age. For children with autism, making this transition may be more difficult, frustrating both the child and the parent.
An ABA therapist can help children with autism learn the skills and steps necessary for potty training in ways that work for them.
Like with any child, we need to determine if the child is at a developmental stage appropriate for potty training. To transition out of diapers, children need to be able to: hold their bladder, take pants off and on by themselves, and complete tasks with multiple steps. If your child isn’t at this stage yet, we’ll work with them to develop those skills first.
Then, the ABA therapists will work with the child to set expectations for potty use, help the child gain body awareness (knowing when they have to go), and start learning the steps necessary to potty training.
Hand washing goes right along with potty training! Learning how to wash hands consistently and correctly is an important life skill for all children. There’s also some evidence that children with autism are more likely to have weaker immune systems. Teaching good hand-washing habits early sets your child up for better health later in life.
Some children with autism have sensory sensitivities that make hand washing difficult. They may dislike the feel of hot water or the smell of soap. Others may face challenges understanding hand washing expectations, frustrated when activities have to transition to and from hand washing. Some of our kiddos simply have trouble learning the steps necessary to wash their hands.
An ABA therapist can evaluate your child to determine their primary challenges. We’ll set age-appropriate goals and take steps to meet them.
Using behavior therapy techniques, we can make hand-washing less scary and confusing, set expectations about when hands should be washed, and establish healthy hand washing routines.