ABA Therapy Training for Parents Online. Is It Any Good?
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is a scientific based discipline which focuses on how people learn and how this leads to the establishment of behaviours.
ABA looks to analyse a person’s current behavioural patterns and apply techniques proven to help people change and learn new behaviours which have social significance.
What ABA is not, and must not be viewed as, is a reward/punishment program. ABA is a process by which focus is drawn toward positive behaviours and children are engages and motivated toward these though an agreed and fair understanding of responsibilities and requirements demanded of us in our lives.
How can I do this? I’m not a therapist!
ABA for parents is about taking these techniques and empowering parents to use the skills that they learn to make a positive difference in the lives of their children.
Parents are the ones who are with their children every day, and the impact of their interactions are key in moulding behaviours. By allowing parents access to ABA, the results or ABA can be amplified as they can be applied every day, rather than just in therapy sessions.
Parents are not professional therapists though, although there are many crossover skills which many parents would surely quickly point out.
Parents usually have enough on their plates without the addition of therapy tasks. As such ABA therapy training for parents online encourages focusing on singular objectives at a time.
This doesn’t mean many issues cannot be worked upon, however, but effective outcomes are more likely if parents can focus on a few techniques and goals at a time.
How will this help my child?
The advantages for the child are both long and short term. In the short term, the application of ABA techniques will aid the child in completing tasks. Beyond this they will not be completing tasks just because they have been told to, but because they understand the value for themselves in doing so.
The knock on effect of this when applied consistently is that in the long term the child will develop behaviours conducive to a happy and successful life. They will become more disciplined toward their responsibilities and develop attitudes that allows them to function better within society.
What kind of behaviours is this effective with?
ABA can help with every day behaviours that all parents experience, from difficulties with bathing and brushing teeth to developing productive behaviours and attitudes and behaviours towards doing homework.
It can also help with more extreme behaviours, such as those involving anger issues, personality disorders and substance abuse.
Furthermore, ABA can help with behaviours related to diagnosed conditions such as autism. In such situations ABA can help with speech to academic activities.
Sounds great! What would I need to do?
ABA for parents in often not just about changing a child’s behaviour, but also that of the parent’s. The can be a tendency for parents to focus on negative behaviours rather than the positive ones that are looking to promote. As such, a mindset focused on identifying, reinforcing and developing those positive behaviours needs to be encouraged and worked on with parents.
In order to do this ABA for parents offers coaching on how to implement and effectively use reinforcement behaviours? It is also important that parents are ready to deal with the inevitable obstacles and stalls in progress that will occur and how to work through these.
The recording of the data required for interventions to be correctly chosen, implemented and modified is simplified because, as previously mention, parents are not therapists. Methods of data collection includes the use of calendars to record instances of positive and negative behaviours and data sheets to help identifying trends.
How long does this take?
The time scale for effective ABA for parents depends on how many behaviours the parents wish to modify. However, for each intervention, reinforcement must not be stopped abruptly, but reduced over a period of time to avoid any relapses.
What are the differences between traditional ABA and Online ABA?
Traditional ABA therapy offers the opportunity for therapists to directly aid parents if required by meeting with them and their child or going places with them to help with reinforcement, feedback and coaching.
ABA therapy training for parents online tries to achieve the same goal as the traditional version, however, through the use of various options available such as mobile phones, tablets and PCs. Thus the therapists can be available when ever and where ever help is needed. Perhaps even more so than with traditional therapy.
In this way therapists can provide a similar level of support as traditional methods offer. In addition, as online ABA therapy for parents allows treatment to take place in an environment the child is familiar with and comfortable in, interventions can often be implemented more easily and ‘stick’ faster.
But, is it any good?
ABA therapy for parents is usually approached in a manner more in line with a natural science than a social science. This means there is less reliance on hypothetical constructs and more on observable relationships with a person’s environment.
Due to this there is an abundance of robust research into the effectiveness of ABA therapy for parents, both online and with traditional methods.
For autism, whilst there are critics, ABA is held as the gold standard of therapy interventions.
The person-centred approach of online ABA therapy for parents allows interventions to be very well matched and modified for individual circumstances.
This gives parents and therapists incredible flexibility, both in actions and time spans, to make sure the interventions used can be effective in developing the successful behaviours parent’s desire in their children whilst making sure it is done in an ethical and cooperative manner for the child.