Parent Coaching and Support

Parent Coaching and Support for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Treatment and Therapy

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your child’s Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy session with our Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs).

1) Choose a Location to Minimize Distraction

It’s very important to pick the right location for your child’s behavior therapy session in order to minimize distractions, and to have a place to keep the appropriate materials available. A designated work area ensures consistency for your child. Because children with autism tend to have difficulty paying attention and remaining focused, it’s best to select a quiet, pleasant place in your home that is easily accessible. Our goal is to decrease your child’s level of frustration when learning and a quiet workplace will make it easier for them to meet goals. For example, a quiet study, alcove or even a corner of a guest bedroom are all suitable work areas, vs. a coffee table in the living room. As your child’s learning abilities improve, the Trumpet Behavioral Health autism behavioral therapist may decide that it is necessary to increase surrounding stimuli to simulate real-world situations, such as a classroom. This can help your child learn to maintain focus when surrounded by more distractions.

2) Ensure the Availability of Appropriate Materials

Certain materials are necessary to optimize learning in a child or adolescent with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). An ideal work area should have a desk with at least two chairs and a large plastic bin or other container for materials and high-preference items. Your Trumpet Behavioral Health autism behavioral therapist and/or skills trainer will help you choose materials to include in the container. You may also wish to buy items relevant to your child’s program on your own.

3) Identify Behavior Reinforcers and High-Preference Items

For a child or adolescent with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a behavior reinforcer is something that increases the future likelihood of a behavior. These reinforcers motivate your child to perform tasks and increase his or her desire to work with you. For example, a reinforcer may be an activity, food, a toy or words of praise that your child considers highly motivating. When selecting reinforcers, it is helpful to identify what your child naturally gravitates toward. Your consultant will use a preference assessment to help you recognize potential behavior reinforcers.

Once reinforcers are selected, their availability is usually limited to the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy session when the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or skills trainer is present. This helps your child associate the item or activity with the autism behavioral therapist. Also, limiting your child’s access to the reinforcer creates deprivation, increasing its value and making it more motivating. It’s always helpful to find more reinforcers by introducing new activities and toys and observing your child’s reaction.

4) Be Patient!

The beginning of any autism intervention program is an exciting time. After completing the behavioral assessments, the Trumpet Behavioral Health autism behavioral therapist will visit your home to begin working on establishing a positive, reinforcing relationship with your child. It’s important to be patient since this process takes time to develop.

Your Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) will schedule quarterly meetings with you to discuss the intervention, address your questions and concerns, and update the program as necessary. This is the best time to talk about how to implement a few of the procedures in your home to aid in generalization and support consistency.