At Happy Oak, we are often asked questions about ABA which come up again and again. Some of the most common questions have been “Does it turn our kids into robots?”, “Is it no fun and totally boring?! (NO! high quality ABA includes finding out what our kids are really into – we call these “reinforcers”. Reinforcers help to teach our kids lots of skills and how to enjoy new things they weren’t open to before. If the reinforcer is a vacuum cleaner we can use it! Another concerned question is; “Do the kids have to sit at a table for 40 hours each week?” and “Do the kids get lots of sweets in every session?” At Happy Oak we actually try to avoid food reinforcers (when possible). Whilst there is some table top learning, especially for our learners getting ready for school, lots of the teaching is Natural Environment Teaching (NET). This can be a trip to the park, making sandcastles at the beach, having a babycino in a cafe and ordering, practising “school sports races”, story telling, playing doctors and nurses, What’s the Time Mr Wolf, playing sports, sandpit fun, zombie tag or any game or everyday activity kids do! The list is endless. And Fun!
We understand why you have these questions when you are looking into starting your child’s ABA program. Actually, I had the same questions (and concerns) myself. Starting ABA is a huge decision for many reasons. One of those is that we want to do the best for our little people and never cause them any harm. We know that ABA is the most evidence based treatment for ASD. So let’s look further at some of the common misconceptions of ABA with one of our favourites Behaviorbabe – see the link below.
Sarah Foote, Director