How Many ABA Therapy Hours Are Needed?
It's recommended that your child gets 2-5 hours of ABA therapy per day. Children with an autism diagnosis should get 10-40 hours of ABA therapy per week. Parents should expect their child to receive 40-120 hours of ABA therapy per month.
Parents will discover that ABA therapy is not a small commitment. However, if your child stays consistent by going to therapy every week based on the amount of time their BCBA recommends, they will likely see positive changes in behavior and social skills.
Parents who have children who have autism spectrum disorder may be asked to consider varied types of therapies.
A therapist or doctor who is treating your child is likely to suggest what is known as Applied Behavior Analysis.
This modern form of evidence-based behavior treatment has been shown to have many benefits for children with autism and other developmental disorders.
When conducted by a highly trained applied behavior analysis provider, many patients and their caregivers are pleased to note that the result of the therapy is often major improvements in the child's behavior.
This kind of treatment can be intense and demanding on the child and the therapist. That's why therapists recognize that each child is unique. In general, most therapists recommend considering the patient's needs.
Some children with autism may need intensive work with a therapist. This can be as much as 40 hours in a week. Other children may benefit from 10 to 15 hours of help each week.
ABA Therapy Is A Long-Term Investment
Many ABA therapists remind their patients and caregivers that this kind of therapy is very intensive. At the same time, they also point out that this kind of therapy can work best if the therapist has the ability to spend lots of time with the child from an early age, ideally right after their diagnosis.
That means making sure that many children are given 40 hours a week to work with the trained ABA therapist from the start of the therapy.
The aim of the treatment is to provide the child with the best possible outcome in life. This is achieved for many children when a child is given lots of therapy at an early age. This is the standard choice for treatment because it has been shown to work.
In a sense, doing ABA therapy can be seen as a full time job for a child with autism.
That may seem like a huge task from an early age that is too much for any child to take on. Yet children have full time jobs. They need to make sense of the world around them and their place in it.
This therapy has someone who is there to help these children with autism navigate this process and learn how to make the world around them work for them. The therapy works as the child grows and begins the difficult process of developing into an adult.
How Are ABA Therapy Hours Determined?
Children with autism need early intervention right from the start. This will help them learn to develop positive behaviors and decrease their maladaptive behaviors. It also helps children with autism learn to cope with problems such as communication and socialization with others.
There is no cure for autism. ABA treatment helps children with autism lead better and more functional lives. In order to figure out what kind of therapy hours a given child will need, the therapist takes certain steps based on standard, evidence based procedures.
The child with autism is given an evaluation by the therapist to find out their current skills. Once this analysis has been made, the resulting data is organized and examined in greater detail. At this point the therapist will come up with an estimate of the number of hours the child might need that is based on the child's development so far.
This recommendation is also based on a variety of factors that depend on the child's background, age of diagnosis and current progress. Different children have different medical needs.
Therapists recognize these needs and want to help their patients. One child may need to target certain goals while another child needs to think about other kinds of behaviors that have to be stopped to help them better integrate with their surroundings and other people.
Types of ABA Therapy
If you have a child with autism, keep in mind there are different types of ABA therapy.
Discrete Trial Training helps a child break down certain tasks into smaller steps. Children are then taught how to do something by following each step. Children are given a small reward if they complete each step successfully.
Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention
This kind of therapy is used for very young children. This one focused on the child is a specific and very intensive way.
Early Start Denver Model
The Early Start Denver Model is another type of ABA therapy that focuses closely on the needs of young children. This one is about helping kids with autism work with many kinds of play activities. Children use these activities to learn better social and language skills from 12 to 48 months.
Natural Environment Training
Natural Environment Training takes over where Discrete Trial Training ends. Children are given the skills they need to learn on their own. Then the therapist works with the child to translate these skills into real world settings. Children are taught a skills and then they show they can do that skill either at home or at school on their own with minimal support.
Comprehensive ABA Therapy
Comprehensive ABA Therapy is where the therapist spends several hours a day with the therapist in varied types of settings. The therapist works with the patient but might also need to work with the child's caregivers to show them how to apply the therapy when the therapist is not there.
Focused ABA Therapy
Focused ABA Therapy is all about focusing on a specific area where the patient is struggling. A patient may have trouble with social skills or communicating with others. The use of this therapy allows the patient and the therapist to work on this deficit in a highly focused way designed to help them over their problems. Practicing is crucial. Patients are given the chance to practice their skills in a real world setting either on their own or with others who have the same issues.
What Are The Benefits Of ABA Therapy?
One of the benefits of ABA therapy is that it has been shown to work. This is therapy that has been subject to real world testing and found to yield long lasting, real world results. Data show that it helps kids who have autism do better in many areas of life.
Many children with autism have increased language skills as a result of this therapy.
Children can use a wider range of vocabulary to better communicate their needs and wants. This helps reduce their feelings of frustration when at school or at home.
Children with autism also tend to have fewer tantrums once they have spent time in ABA therapy. They are also more likely to be able to control their emotions when in a school or home setting and sit quietly while learning.
Children often have better social skills after working with an ABA therapist. This has been shown to help children with autism interact with their peers in a more productive way.
Children who have this kind of treatment also learn better basic skills such as how to dress themselves that they can use for the rest of their lives. They have more effective play skills and social abilities.
Another important effect from this kind of treatment is that it helps reduce aggressive behavior in autistic kids. Children also feel less anxious and don't have as many episodes of depression.