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Provided that they come into it knowing what it entails and are prepared, most parents with an autistic child are more than capable of doing ABA therapy at home.
Looking at the price of the average ABA session can be off-putting for some, especially for parents expecting to pay out of pocket. There’s no mistake, ABA therapy is expensive. Still, there are plenty of options provided to parents that can greatly lower or eliminate the need for them to pay anything.
But in some cases, fees may arise that might leave some with no choice but to pay. This is why at-home therapy is attractive.
If possible, it’s recommended for parents considering ABA treatment to visit a facility to find out more about the kind of work that ABA therapists do.
Truthfully, most of it isn’t very labor-intensive. While it requires skills for anyone to watch a child, some of the techniques that therapists in this field use are adaptive to any environment where a small child would be.
This includes at school, a recreational facility, and in the comfort of their parent’s residence. Such an adaptive skill set is also attractive to parents wishing to carry out ABA therapy on their own, another way some attempt to save money.
Most ABA technicians at the lowest level aren’t required to do years of schooling to learn their craft. With knowledge of autism and how it’s treated in kids, anyone willing to put in the effort and time can become a therapist for their daughter or son.
The objective of ABA therapy is to reduce or get rid of behavior that prevents a child from developing their skills to communicate and socialize. It’s done by breaking down what’s unwanted and rebuilding or reinforcing expected behaviors. Patience is key, something that a parent would have no issues doing at home.
But in the case that parents cannot learn more about ABA therapy, some technicians would be happy to work with their kids in a home environment. Services at a center are sometimes carried out first with the insistence of the clinic’s staff, though not all therapists do this.
At-home ABA services are recommended when parents’ circumstances would benefit their child beginning ABA therapy at home more than at school or an ABA therapy center.
The reasons for having ABA therapy at home can be plenty. Here are some of them:
Where ABA therapy is conducted can be broken into three areas. Here’s are brief descriptions of each:
Below are the major advantages and disadvantages of home-based ABA.
This is a very useful and key benefit of doing ABA in a home setting. Children and adults are relaxed at home, a place with fewer distractions and pressure to behave in a certain way.
For this reason, therapists can sometimes better pinpoint areas in a child’s inability to speak, understand, or behave in a non-harming manner.
A BCBA also has fewer children to deal with than at a busy and sometimes loud ABA center. A child will receive hands-on therapy that caters to them throughout the whole session.
The BCBA can study and see how a child’s day-to-day behavior is. Additionally, children may engage with their therapist better at home than they would at a center.
When the autistic child’s entire household is engaged with them while in session, ABA therapy is most fruitful. Qualified therapists will give great ABA for a child this way as well.
And since everyone would be involved, everyone related to the child can learn some of the fundamentals of ABA therapy. There could be more of a willingness for children to take part in what the therapist wants to work with them on.
Many children with autism will self-harm and have tantrums from the inability to articulate what they want to say to someone. Kids that have trouble speaking may show interest when they see the effort being made to get them to understand how to speak.
And when issues arise that the family should know about, the therapist doesn’t need to be called or messaged. They can provide on-the-spot suggestions and coach all that participate.
Some autistic children may exhibit unwanted behavior where they and their parents live. It may grow in its frequency of occurrence from there, with tantrums and self-harming issues expanding to wherever they are outside. In some circumstances, problem behaviors can happen when a kid is at home, even more than when in public. When ABA therapy is given at home, a BCBA can address them in the environment where they first manifest.
The therapist will observe and take note of the following routines leading up to unwanted behaviors:
Some are turned off from ABA therapy by simply learning about how much it costs. Though there are many ways that parents can pay for the therapy, going to one at a center is usually the most expensive.
Having a therapist show up at home could be cheaper for insurers and the amount parents are charged for any deductibles. And if parents are willing to learn how to do ABA therapy on their own, the only costs associated are the supplies needed to conduct it.
This could be more of an issue for children that are seeing more than one BCBA in different settings. While one therapist may follow the same course as was while a child is at a center, how it’s applied could give completely different results.
If a child, for instance, were to start at a clinic practicing their speech, then have courses transferred to home learning the same thing, the home environment could be too much of a distraction for them to say anything.
There’s always the risk of inconsistency in behaviors when something similar happens. And for this reason, ABA therapy at home certainly isn’t for every child.
ABA clinics are scattered about, sometimes within walking distance to parents leaving children there, and other times many miles away. Simply put, the long commute to and from an ABA center can be a real-time killer.
The inability to drive to a clinic is another reason why people may seek at-home services. But not every technician or BCBA has the time or capacity to travel to a home address. And when there is a therapist available that can come out, there’s no guarantee that it’ll be one that you want.
For many BCBAs operating at school or an ABA center, most of the parents they meet could have problems were they to attempt it at their home. Even while those employed can have night shifts, having a therapist show up while their child is at home could interfere with their sleeping pattern. Therefore, parents might not have a choice but to enroll their kids in an ABA center.
Having children at a trusted clinic will have less unwanted interference in their employment. Still, not every child will stay at a center for the entire time that parents are at work. Unless something can be worked out with employers or the child is old enough to have therapy at a school that offers it, going to a clinic might be the most practical option.
Some therapists are trained specifically to work with children in a home environment. It’s sometimes done to minimize instances of putting BCBAs and related technicians in a position where they’re unaccustomed to working.
Therapists have lots of expertise in handling children with autism, but this can sometimes be difficult for them to do in a parent’s home. For starters, it might lead to them feeling pressured in part by meaningful but scrupulous parents.
While it’s always expected for parents to be mindful of who they let teach their children, an ABA therapist’s work may have them forbid a child from certain activities to encourage wanted behaviors.
That could lead to crying or tantrums at the onset of the therapy. It’s a parent’s instinct to stop their child from crying, though it could potentially hinder the work of a therapist. For these reasons, some therapists may not be as effective at an ABA center.
Here are some therapy techniques that parents can try out with their children at home.
Some kids with autism have issues standing still, especially those that are hpber or get easily sidetracked. A simple technique is to have the child sit still for a timed period could be rewarded.
Getting them to sit down for an allotted period can aid in their concentration and overall discipline in areas where they’re expected to be stationary. A game couple is incorporated into the activity or it could take place at certain times of the day, such as during breakfast or dinner.
One of the first steps to improving a child with autism’s social ability is by getting them to look people in the eyes. When they do this, a parent can blow bubbles for them to play with as a show of reward.
However, before blowing bubbles, the child should be praised for what they did. Once this becomes a routine activity, they’ll be more likely to give eye contact without thinking about the reward.
Many ABA centers partake in color matching. It’s an activity that can easily be done at home, one where almost anything can be incorporated into the activity. Parents can use different items around their home, including toys, markers, clothes, furniture, or even food.
The child is asked to find matching colors that are the same as the one specified by the parent or themselves. Reinforcement should be applied when they match it to the correct color.
Autistic kids often have difficulty in expressing their emotions or understanding the emotions of others. With a smartphone, laptop, or PC, parents can display emojis on a screen showing different expressions.
They could also be used on cards or drawn. The child is asked to name the emotion that’s shown to them. When this is done correctly, they’re praised for putting in the effort in giving the right answer.
To do the next activity requires a printout or purchase of cards showing the activity that they must say or point to when it matches the function.
This activity is versatile, so parents can get creative in how it’s done. Cards or even a corresponding video that’s similar to the activity described are good alternatives.
For this activity, boards with pictures are used. The game works by having a child identify what room has the illustrated item that’s shown on the board.
Cards can be used if needed. There are many games sold in retail stores made specifically for the autistic that can help with this.
Here are spectrum-based therapies for parents to undertake for an autistic child at home.
For therapies related to autism, ABA is considered of primary importance. Although ABA is best learned by studying it and practicing with a hands-on approach, Here are some relative activities found within ABA that parents can try out.
Autistic children need help with learning how to play in a way that’s safe and leads to better social interactions.
They can learn many things while playing, such as better ways to communicate and use their senses in the process. Playing can include tickling, sliding, swinging, or moving through tubes.
Although speech therapy can be complex, it can be learned by parents. Online programs related to speech therapy, downloadable applications, or even videos are good for this as well.
They’re usually called walkability apps that serve as a good way for children to better understand and empathize with their parents.
Floortime involves interaction between parents and their autistic child. The interaction can be communicative or non-communicative.
Techniques range from looking at videos, reading, or having floor time with a therapist that’s more qualified to help them become more verbal.
Similar to floor time, RDI also benefits an autistic child’s ability to talk to people. It’s based on theories targeting their social development, especially regarding how to communicate in day-to-day life.
It used goals to reach wanted behavioral outcomes. Also, like floortime, it’s recommended to do with a trained therapist, if possible.
Many autistic children are prone to behavior that may interfere with the lives of their parents, forcing them to stay at home, cancel outdoor activities, or even keep them out of school to manage.
Interaction therapy aims to create limits and help the child understand the role of a parent as an authority figure for them. This therapy is useful for breaking the cycles that cause aggressive tantrums to arise. Letting the child see unwavering discipline from both parents or boundary-setting is part of PCIT.