In 2018, it was determined that almost 1 in 59 children had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or ASD. According to CDC, 31% of children that were diagnosed with ASD experience intellectual disability, while 25% are in the borderline range, and 44% show IQ scores that are from average to above average.
The United States is ranked the third-highest number of rates in autism. In some states in the US, autism rates even rise to 43%, and some experts have developed different interventions for autism. Like in New York, applied behavioral analysis or ABA therapy is offered to children affected by autism. It is known as one of the most effective techniques in changing the behavior of a child with autism, especially when the therapy started when the child is younger than five years old. Still, it is also beneficial to older children diagnosed with ASD. ABA therapy helps the child’s motor, verbal, and social behaviors, reasoning skills, and can help in managing challenging behavior. Aside from being used to treat those with ASD, sometimes ABA therapy is also used for other conditions like dementia, anxiety, anger management, substance misuse, and borderline personality disorder. ABA therapies may last for 25 to 40 hours per week for 1 to 3 years.
According to a paper that was based on a presentation that was given during the “Innovations in Autism Treatment and Applied Behavior Analysis” conference in 2009, here are the top 10 reasons why a child with autism deserves ABA therapy:
- Children with autism deserve ABA because there is more scientific evidence demonstrating ABA “works” than there is for any other intervention or treatment.
- Kids with autism deserve ABA because they are human.
- Children with autism deserve ABA because it will help their parents be the best parents they can be for them.
- Children with autism deserve ABA because it will help teach them how to sleep through the night and use the bathroom.
- Individuals with autism deserve ABA because it is the best defense against the tyranny of low expectations.
- Children with autism deserve ABA because it can teach them the skills necessary to make friends.
- Individuals with autism deserve ABA because it enables their parents and teacher to capitalize on their strengths and preferences.
- Children with autism deserve ABA because it can teach parents how to respond at the moment.
- Children with autism deserve ABA because some say their parents are going to die.
- Individuals with autism deserve ABA because it can prepare them to be their own best advocates.
More than 20 studies have shown that thorough and continuous ABA therapy is beneficial to children who were diagnosed with ASD. These studies show improvements in the patients’ intellectual functioning, social functioning, daily living skills, and language development. However, aside from children patients, these improvements are also seen in adults.
Although each case and treatment may differ depending on the individual needs of each patient, children who have undergone the ABA therapy may be seen showing more interest in people, communicate more effectively, more focus at school, lessened, or even stopped self-harming actions, and reduced tantrums. A lot of children living with ASD have benefited from ABA therapy. Different doctors have different ways and techniques; that is why it is highly essential to find someone who is perfectly fit in each family.