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Parents Role in ABA Therapy for Children with Autism

According to a study (Lecavalier & Wiltz, 2006), parents of children with autism experience more stress than teachers when they deal with their behavior. Behavioral problems and stress mutually affect each other, making it more difficult for parents to take care of their children who have autism.

Despite these challenges, it is essential that parents learn to play an active role in supporting their children’s growth and development when undergoing any ABA therapy. In this article, we will explore what roles the parents play and why they are significant to the child’s skills development.

By working together with their ABA therapist, parents can ensure that their child receives the best possible outcome in their ABA therapy program.

A parent of an ABA child

What is ABA Therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is one of the recognized treatment approaches for children with autism and other developmental delays. ABA draws on behaviorism, which involves positive and negative reinforcement to bring about behavior change.

The treatment involves breaking down goals into tiny steps and practicing these steps repeatedly until skills are developed and can be generalized outside of treatment. Such goals include the practice of communication skills and other skills necessary for the child’s daily life.

Significance of Parent’s Role in ABA Therapy

Parent involvement in ABA therapy is critical to the success of the treatment. Parents play an important part in the ABA process because they provide the guidance needed to help their child learn and retain those new skills.

Together with their therapists, parents must actively engage in understanding the ABA treatment and formulating their child’s treatment plan. Parents also provide support and encouragement to their children during therapy sessions, which can help them stay motivated and engaged in the process.

The Roles of Parents in their Child’s ABA Treatment

Parent with their child taking ABA at Westside

More than being the child’s source of emotional support, parents will be expected to play other essential roles for their child. Understanding that the child needs the treatment is one step, but participating in the process of their development is another.

To ensure the best results from their treatment, here are the following roles you might play as a parent so your child could have the most in their treatment sessions:

Becoming a Lifelong Learner through ABA

Parents are expected that once they enter their child into ABA therapy, they become lifelong learners by understanding the foundations and techniques related to their child’s treatment.

You should strive to learn more about the principles utilized, as well as the strategies used in the sessions. You could also do an extra effort by attending workshops and seminars that focus on autism and other treatments that you may find valuable for increasing your awareness about your child’s needs.

Parents are a Child’s Source of Support and Empowerment

As a parent, you are also the primary source of support and empowerment for your child. Thus, you are expected to actively involve yourself in your child’s ABA therapy sessions.

You may also be asked to provide guidance and aid throughout the entire ABA process. On top of that, it may also be necessary to bring this emotional support and encouragement to your child at home.

Participating Actively

Being an active participant in the process is also key to helping your child make progress. You can do this by attending the therapy sessions physically, providing feedback and observations to the therapists, and reinforcing positive behaviors at home.

Attending therapy sessions also allow you to observe your child’s progress and ask questions about the techniques being used. And when a child sees that we actively involve ourselves in the sessions, we are also setting an example to our child of what skills they can imitate and eventually do on their own.

Advocating for ASD Awareness

As a parent, you might already understand the difficulty of having a child with autism. And surely, you might not be the only one.

Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD is a complex neurological disorder that affects an estimated 1 in every 44 8-year-old children in the United States (NIMH, 2018). Despite its prevalence, many people are still unaware of the signs and symptoms of ASD, which can lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment.

So as a parent of a child with autism, it is important to advocate for increased awareness and understanding of this condition. In this way, you’re not just helping a child to be accepted in society, but you’re also helping allies and parents alike to understand how to manage these challenges in their everyday lives.

The ABA Journey Gets Better!

Parents play a fundamental role in their child’s therapy process. Their understanding and support can make all the difference in helping their child develop the skills needed to improve their quality of life. Through active involvement and discussion with their therapists, parents can access resources and find ways to better navigate the journey.

As you learn more about what works best for your child during treatment, you will ultimately become better equipped to provide meaningful guidance at home, which is essential for long-term success.