You’ve decided that you want your child to receive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services. Maybe the pediatrician recommended it, maybe it was a friend, or maybe you have been researching ways to help your child. However it happens, you are most likely asking yourself, how do I find the right fit for my child, for my family. If you are lucky enough to have several different providers in your area, you should be on the look-out for several key factors when it comes to an ABA provider. Here are some things to look for, and some questions to ask a potential provider.
How can I help my child become more independent? Using a Task Analysis to Teach Socially Significant Skills
As a parent with a child who has ASD, you may have experienced many moments of worry wondering whether your child will ever be able to brush their own teeth, make themselves a snack, tie their shoes, or do their own grocery shopping. Complex skills such as these, may not be something that comes naturally or easily to your child, but that does not necessarily mean they cannot be taught!
As the holidays approach, there may be more to prepare for than presents and decorating if you have a child with special needs. You are already anticipating the struggles of the long car ride ahead to visit family. Perhaps your child is so excited to get his picture taken with Santa, but you know that waiting in line in a crowded mall is a recipe for a tantrum or sensory overload for your little one. Begin to think about your child's individual needs and sensory issues now to help prepare them for a successful holiday season! Get creative! You can tweak your family's traditions so that everyone is included in holiday celebrations!
We all know that several children with Autism do not like a change in routine. With this in mind, how can we modify the typical New Year's Eve celebrations so a later bedtime and issues with noise won't cause an emotional meltdown?
If you are thinking of celebrating and want to avoid unnecessary fireworks from a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, here are a few suggestions borrowed from PBS parents and adjusted with the special needs child in mind to help maintain a fun yet peaceful atmosphere.
Verbal Operants: Mand
Children with special needs often struggle with communicating their wants and needs appropriately. Many times they express their wants and needs through crying, whining, or even through aggression. The term "mand" is often used by ABA therapists to describe how we teach children to communicate their wants and needs appropriately. At Madison Behavior Therapy we teach the verbal operants based on B. F. Skinner's Analysis of Verbal Behavior, which includes mands, intraverbals, tacts, receptive language, imitation and echoics. This article will focus on the verbal operant, "mand" and how it applies to our everyday lives and the importance of teaching this skill to your child. We teach manding through vocals, sign language, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), or with an iPad program such as Autismate or Proloquo2go.