Parent involvement in ABA therapy is an extremely powerful way to make progress in meeting goals. When your child completes their therapy session for the day with their ABA instructor the the behavior management and treatments they have been learning should continue with the caregiver.
Children spend the majority of their day in their parents’/ caregivers’ care. It is beneficial for you (their caregiver) to be up to date and trained in the ABA techniques and involved in the process. This will help maximize your child’s skill development and learning ability.
You are probably saying to yourself this is easier said than done. Anyone who has children knows kids tend to act differently with their parents. Also most times as a parent you are already juggling ten other things, so resorting to how you normally handle things is the easiest and quickest way to make something, such as a challenging behavior stop. But your BCBA and ABA instructors are there to help make things easier and the follow through at home can make all the difference in their success.
Autismspeaks.org has given us some simple ways you can build your relationship and partnership with your ABA therapist to make the best of your child’s success story. You can also refer to the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) tool kit for more information.
- Understand what Makes a Good ABA Program: Parents should have a general idea of how ABA therapy works, how information is gathered, assessed, and monitored, and family members should be trained on how to continue therapy at home.
- Observe and Ask: Observing sessions with your child’s instructor can help you understand what is being done. It can also help caregivers learn and see the techniques used so they can be utilized at home in the same way. Ask questions to learn better and ask what you can be doing at home to help.
- Follow through with Strategies at Home: Following through and continuing at home will help your kiddo become more familiar with strategies and learn to apply them in multiple settings and with more people.
- Keep an Eye on the Goal: Make sure your child is making the same progress with you as they are with the therapist. Your child may have mastered a task with your therapist, but you have yet to see it. Talk to your therapist to work together to make the task become more generalized to different settings with different people.
- Be Understanding and Accommodating with New Instructors: When a new therapist is brought into your child’s therapy it is an adjustment for your child, for you, and for the therapist. This instructor may use slightly different approaches and styles, which can actually be really good for your child. Remember it is common for children to halt or move backwards a bit when starting with a new instructor, pay attention to this, but don’t forget your child just may be adjusting to the change.
- Pitch in: Don’t leave everything up to your professional team. Parents and caregivers can be a great link to teachers, other therapists, or ABA instructors. Also, parents can be a great resource for knowing what things might work best for rewards.
Be involved as much as you can in your child’s therapy sessions. The work never stops at the end of a session or the end of the day. Remember the main goal is making your child become the most successful person they can be!