If you have a child that has autism or some communication and emotion-regulation disorder, you might already be taking him or her to an ABA therapist. An ABA therapist is a therapist that specializes in helping shape a child's behavior through rewarding good behaviors to help encourage the child to use these behaviors to accomplish end goals. However, this form of therapy needs to be reinforced by the parents during the week, not just while the child is in the weekly therapy session. Here are some tips for working through ABA therapy techniques at home.
1. Have a Default Tantrum Response
The first thing that you need to do is to nip loud, unproductive behavior in the bud, especially while in public. If your child throws a lot of temper tantrums in public places, he or she is going to be treated differently, and this could have a negative effect on him or her, as he or she needs to interact with the world. You need will need to create a default extinction process that you can follow. For example, your child might throw a tantrum until you purchase chocolate for him or her at the grocery store. You might have previously given in and bought the chocolate. With extinction, you simply remove the stimulus by immediately leaving the store and ending the interaction or continuing to pay if you are close to being done. Your child will gradually unlearn his or her tantrum behaviors.
This process needs to be bolstered by a robust reinforcement technique, such as providing praise when your child makes it through a shopping trip without having a tantrum. By having default strategies, you won't even have to think about what to do when your child has a tantrum. This will allow you to reinforce what your child is learning with his or her ABA therapist.
2. Use Prompting Strategies
The next thing that you need to do is use a most-to-least strategy for prompting. When you want a specified behavior and your child is just learning it, you will want to try to prompt the behavior in the most intrusive way possible. This will make it obvious to your child what behavior is expected. As your child learns the positive behavior, start using less and less intrusive and obvious strategies to get the desired behavior. This will help you gradually get your child prepared for the real world.
For more information, talk to a company like Eyas Landing that specializes in ABA therapy.