ABA therapy for an older child?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Renea, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Renea

    Renea Member

    Is it worth it?

    There's a chance that my 10 year old (11 in March) may qualify for aba therapy. He has an Asperger's diagnosis and has poor coping skills and a low frustration tolerance. We've tried individual therapy and a few group therapy classes over the years but we aren't really getting anywhere. He currently takes medication (Prozac) but he has been taking it for so long and has grown so much and gained so much weight on it that I feel it's time to adjust his medication or try something else. He's getting too big to have the meltdowns that he has and I'm getting pretty desperate. Is there any chance that aba will help him with any of his struggles? He's a really sweet boy (usually) and really smart. But he seems to feel bad all of the time. He is down a lot and frustrated over all sorts of little things. And lately he has started sneaking food and putting on a lot of weight really quickly.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We never used ABA so I'm not sure. I thought ABA was for speech.
    My son had meltdowns when he was a toddler. Getting him autism-specific interventions in school really helped him. He has not had them since he was really little. Has any of your son's therapists been specifically geared towards autism?
  3. Renea

    Renea Member

    Hmm.. I haven't heard of aba being used for speech but I'm sure it's possible. Aba is supposed to be used to modify behavior, which is what we need at the moment. I've just always thought of it as a very early childhood intervention type of thing. I didn't even know they offered it for kids around my son's age until a few days ago. A friend of mine has a six year old child in aba and she shared with me that my son could easily qualify to be seen there. I'm just not sure if it's worth it since he isn't "little" anymore and I'm not sure if he will get anything out of it.

    None of my son's therapist have been specifically geared towards autism. I haven't even seen anyone in our area who only works with autism spectrum kids. We aren't in a big city, so we take what we can get. Aba is geared towards kids on the spectrum, so that's another reason I'm considering it.


    Your son sounds just like mine. I'm actually wondering about ABA also.

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  5. Think of ABA like training a dog. You want your dog to stop barking in other words you want a quiet dog. As everyone knows, you are going to reward a quiet dog and ignore a barking dog. Easy peasy. Now, a human, especially a differently wired one, is not so easy. That is where the ABA therapist does his/her magic but its not magic at all, it is keen observation and the recording of events.They will take the data and establish a reward schedule or a schedule of "ignoring", depending on the reason for the behavior that you want extinguished or encouraged. Most of this appears very basic on the surface, but they will review the data, change the schedule or reinforcer, try to get the behavior across many different locations and events. Done correctly, it is very labor intensive, changing ( a lot of trial and error) and effective if done expertly. Unfortunately, there are many people who try to take short cuts.

    I worked with one non-verbal boy who when frustrated would pinch, leaving bloody, scarred arms of anyone who tried to work with him. All the teachers/paras had taken to wearing soccer shin guards on their forearms. ABA therapist came in, observed for a week, collected data for a week, had us collect data for the pinching for a week. She returned to the classroom at week 3 and handed us a schedule. If the boy did not pinch in a 1 minute increment, he was rewarded with computer time. Over the course of 2 months, he went from over 100 incidents of pinching per day to 0. He also went from 1 minute increments to 3 hours. He brought the non-pinching behavior home. It was absolutely amazing.
  6. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Interesting post above. Alongfortheride, does ABA go along with an FBA/BIP? Sounds somewhat similar at least in the data collecting part.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Had no idea. Sounds like a really good idea. Heck, I would have used it if I'd known about it back then.
  8. Renea

    Renea Member

    Awesome!!! I'm about to push for it with our insurance and he should be able to start within a month. I'll let you all know what happens!