In-Home ABA Therapy Benefits

In-Home ABA Therapy Benefits

Many parents of a child with ASD wonder what the best therapy method for their child is. In-home therapy (in tandem with other recommended programs) is a critical part of the development of any child with ASD. 

In-home ABA therapy can be conducted by a licensed therapist or the parents on a daily basis. Let’s take a look at how in-home ABA therapy works and how it can benefit your child’s development.

In-Home ABA Therapy: How it Works

A huge benefit of in-home therapy is the comfort for both parents and children. If you sign up for professional in-home therapy, an ABA therapist will come to your home to work with your child. This minimizes driving time by seamlessly fitting therapy without travel into your everyday routine. In-home ABA therapy is very useful for families who have issues with transportation.

Buying therapy materials for professional in-home ABA therapy is not necessary. The therapist will use in-home materials & toys the child already has access to. ABA therapy tools for reinforcement can be almost anything: toys, snacks, social praise, etc. 

ABA therapists assess what each child likes during every session. Reinforcement tools are an essential part of ABA therapy. These tools are used to help reinforce good behavior and teach a variety of different skills like communication, play, and peer interactions.

Certain behaviors may often occur in the home, making it important to change them in a familiar setting. Resisting instruction for daily tasks or problem behaviors with siblings during playtime are things that may not happen in a clinical setting. 

BCBAs make assessments to pinpoint why problem behaviors happen and develop intervention strategies to treat problems as they occur. This gives many opportunities to target problematic behaviors and help change them.

During in-home sessions, an ABA therapist observes everyday interactions between the child and family members in real-time. This allows the therapist to provide quick feedback to parents on different approaches to creating parent-conducted treatment outside sessions.

In-home therapy can be used for toddlers, teens, and adults with Autism. Younger children from ages 2-5 who spend most of their time at home may benefit the most from in-home ABA therapy. A BCBA creates a treatment plan that best suits a child’s needs at home, allowing therapy to start in a familiar environment.

ABA Therapy & Family Support

Another advantage of in-home therapy is that parents and siblings can get involved in a child’s development. All family members are recommended to be active participants during in-home ABA therapy. This includes visiting relatives, grandparents, caregivers, and other regular visitors. 

ABA therapists can provide support to families who want to learn more about their child’s therapy program, treatment, and development. Family engagement has been actively demonstrated to increase progress when everyone implements ABA therapy strategies outside professional sessions.

ABA therapists can guide families on how to use ABA therapy to increase appropriate behaviors while reducing problematic ones. At-home ABA therapy also helps develop sibling relationships by working on age-appropriate skills. Social activities with siblings like playing, sharing, and interacting can be strengthened by ABA therapy. Peer interactions are also encouraged among friends and close relatives.

ABA Therapy & Independent Living at Home

Independent living skills are best taught and reinforced at home. Personal hygiene skill reinforcement at home provides a natural environment for children to develop skills. Important tasks like brushing teeth, washing hands, washing face, are best reinforced where they regularly occur. 

Independent living tasks are typically broken down into smaller steps with reinforcement being provided after each step is accomplished. Repeating the individual steps of a process followed by completing the process as a whole every day will help a child learn to be self-sufficient.

For early learners, in-home ABA therapy can also include daily routines. Things like toilet training, dressing, learning to tie shoes, can be taught and reinforced on a daily basis. Parents can select times that work best. Talking to your child’s BCBA can help you develop an effective schedule that will benefit your child.

Older children and teens will have different needs than younger kids. Tasks for older kids may include organizing or cleaning their room, preparing meals, and learning how to communicate (both verbally and through phones or other electronic devices). 

Peer interaction for teens, things like board games, video games, or social outings with friends, can be very beneficial as well–just make sure to talk to all involved parties about any specific needs beforehand. Knowing what situations or places your teen is comfortable with can help set up a successful social outing.

Designing a template for how to develop social outings for your teen with their BCBA beforehand may help you avoid any undesirable situations. An ABA therapist can also help develop skills for situations where a teen must interact with others.

ABA Therapy from IABA Consultants

If you have questions regarding autism treatment, education, or plans using ABA therapy, we are here for you! Our goal is to make sure no family is turned away due to financial constraints. Our therapy team would love to talk to you. Find the location closest to you and give us a call. We’re here for you.

Sources

Achieve Beyond Pediatric Therapy

In-Home ABA Therapy Benefits

ABA Therapy Benefits

Many people with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) need support when learning specific skills or new behaviors that are positive and functional. ABA therapy can be very effective with teaching skills in these common areas:

  • General social skills
  • Communication
  • Self-help
  • Motor skills
  • Play skills
  • Leisure activities
  • Independent daily living

How is ABA Therapy Beneficial?

The basis of ABA therapy is to identify why a person engages in a particular behavior followed by creating environments that support effective, lasting change for the better. When new, helpful behaviors bring about good results, old, unhelpful behaviors begin to decrease.

ABA therapy provides beneficial information on:

  • Why behaviors occur
  • How certain environments can affect behavior
  • The best way to create a beneficial, long-lasting therapy plan
  • The most effective therapy models for changing individual behavior

ABA Therapy Expectations

ABA therapy can be conducted in clinics, schools, outside settings, and inside the home. ABA programs are managed by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), who are Masters-level professionals and direct care providers. In most cases BCBAs are Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs), which is a national certification.

The role and responsibilities of the BCBA include:

  • Developing a treatment plan
  • Helping parents and other caregivers manage treatment plans
  • Developing and conducting progress assessments
  • Monitoring work conducted by other direct care providers

Depending on the intensity of the treatment, BCBAs may work with the child and direct care anywhere from multiple days per week to a few days per month. 

Direct care providers are closely monitored by BCBAs to make sure the correct therapy program is being followed. It is imperative that any comprehensive ABA therapy programs are followed by all caregivers, from teachers to parents. Talking to your BCBA will help you understand their therapy program.

Typical therapy sessions include play, practicing daily activities like toileting or dressing, and structured teaching activities. ABA Sessions are customized for each child’s strengths and needs and designed to improve the quality of life for both the child and their family.

Helping parents with continuing therapeutic practices at home is a critical part of ABA therapy. Without continued reinforcement, certain behaviors may take longer to learn or even regress.

ABA Therapy from IABA Consultants

If you have questions regarding autism treatment, education, or plans using ABA therapy, we are here for you! Our goal is to make sure no family is turned away due to financial constraints. Our therapy team would love to talk to you. Find the location closest to you and give us a call. We’re here for you.

Sources

Arizona Autism United

ASD & Gender Comorbidities

ASD & Gender Comorbidities

The likelihood that a person with autism has another condition correlates strongly with the age at which they received their autism diagnosis, according to a new study. The study also noted that girls with autism are more likely than neurotypical girls to have other conditions, to a degree not seen in boys.

Study factors included whether a person with autism’s age at ASD diagnosis or birth sex changed their chance of having any of 11 common comorbid conditions (including epilepsy, anxiety, and ADHD). The study drew on data from around 16,000 people with autism and more than 650,000 neurotypical people up to 16 years old.

Among people included in the study who received late ASD diagnoses (11 to 15 years old) 26% of girls and 13% of boys were also diagnosed with a comorbid condition. The trend for intellectual disability in the study was the opposite with 40% of people with an early autism diagnosis having an intellectual disability, compared to just 10% percent of people with a late autism diagnosis.

Looking at Gender and ASD Comorbidities

For 11 co-occurring conditions considered by study researchers, the age of autism diagnosis was the single biggest predictor of whether a participant had that condition. Gender was another major factor.

Among individuals with autism, girls were 2.2X more likely to have anxiety than boys. By contrast, anxiety is about 1.4X higher in neurotypical girls than neurotypical boys. And while neurotypical boys are 2.6X more likely to have ADHD than neurotypical girls, the ratio dropped within the ASD population. Boys with Autism are just 1.6X more likely than girls with autism to have ADHD.

Looking at the ASD Spectrum Index

86 percent. That is the proportion of people with autism who show “a fair to very good level of objective psychosocial functioning,” according to a study that tracked the jobs. The happiness and close friendships of 917 adults — 425 men and 492 women — were tracked over a six-year period. These study results appeared in the journal Autism in June 2021.

The results of recent studies have started taking closer looks at both the age of ASD diagnoses and the gender of people with ASD. The early data shows promising results in the differences between boys and girls with ASD.

ABA Therapy from IABA Consultants

If you have questions regarding autism treatment, education, or plans using ABA therapy, we are here for you! Our goal is to make sure no family is turned away due to financial constraints. Our therapy team would love to talk to you. Find the location closest to you and give us a call. We’re here for you.

Sources

Spectrumnews.org, Community Letter

Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, July 2021

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, July 2021

Health Services Research, July 2021

Leaning on Love

Leaning on Love

Two weeks ago I wrote to you about my experience over the last year in choosing to leave domestic abuse and my extended family choosing to support my abuser because he is a man. As a survivor, I had been living in fear and shame for far too long. Fear of abusive behavior and shame that I was being abused. 

It took me over a year to be brave enough to write about this portion of my life. The love I was met with was overwhelming. Yet the private love I received was deeper than the public support and has been steadfast through my healing. I am equally grateful for both. You see, love was my lifeline. I’d like to focus this week on choosing love when fear feels overwhelming.

I have always believed that love has more to give than fear. I have lived through incredibly painful experiences and in each experience, love has somehow stayed within and around me. Love is a gentle reminder that peace is possible; that the world can be good. There are incredible people in this world and we are worthy of a life of freedom to enjoy it all. Fear tells us we will always experience pain, then shame tells us to hide that pain. Love has soft and open arms, gently whispering this isn’t so. 

Leaving Fear Behind

When I left my abusive marriage I was still able to hear was the whisper of love. I was too lost in fear at the time to fully embrace the love that was (and still is) available to me. I knew I was no longer willing to live in abuse and could barely hear the pulse of my own heart.

When I first left my marriage, I was terrified to tell anyone what had happened. Like many survivors, I hid the abuse well. I was ashamed and even my closest friends didn’t know the extent of what I had experienced over the previous 5 years. Only my sister knew what had really happened.

It’s scary, you know? I had somehow been conditioned to hide and protect my ex-husband and was terrified to tell anyone what really happened. Yet the whisper of love told me to speak, to seek love, and to look for help in order to restore myself and my life.

At the time I was hurt beyond measure at the actions of my extended family. At the same time, I was overwhelmingly met with love by my immediate family and friends. I was also cared for deeply by an amazing trauma specialist who helped me beyond belief by first giving a name to my pain, domestic violence, and then helping me heal. If I had chosen to stay in a mindset of fear over one of love I may have missed the love inside the incredible people that were already walking alongside me. Shame and pain told me to hide, love told me it was safe to come out. 

Embracing Love

At first, the pain was unbearable because, while incredible people were showing me I was loved, I was also hurt and quite honestly blindsided by the actions of my extended family. To this day I continue to be disappointed in their choice to turn a blind eye to the abuse of their own family.

The pain of coming out about abuse made me understand on a deep level why so many victims stay in abusive relationships. When you are leaving abuse you are already scared beyond measure and the systems and people you come out to do not often make it easy. Many times they actually make it harder (another topic for a different time).

I was and am incredibly lucky to have the family and friends I do. As I was met with more pain they held me tighter. They showed me love time and time again. They showed me who I was when I could not see. I leaned into the love of others until I could find the love inside of me again. 

I cannot explain it and yet love has been my saving grace. Remember the two wolves? My wolf of love was starving and I needed to feed it to find myself again. What I didn’t tell you is that an incredible community carried me back to my own wolf when I couldn’t walk there myself. 

Truly Believing in Love

Yes, I have experienced trauma, but it’s just a fraction of my life. I have also experienced love, which is the foundation of my life. I have long believed that all people are equal and are born deeply in love with humanity. Living through a traumatic experience made me realize that even though pain is real, the healing properties of love are more real. At the end of my marriage, I can tell you I felt absolutely unloveable, but I still had a heart full of love to give. Today I rest my hand on my warm heart and know I am fully lovable and have plenty of love to give. And I still get my heart filled with love from others.

To my parents, my mom tribe, my sister, old friends (and a new one), my employees, and perfect strangers who have shown me love as I’ve walked over the coals of pain; thank you. When love whispered to me a year ago I was worthy and my life was worth living, a life free of abuse, I was terrified to embrace it. Love has set me free.

Xoxo
Jessie

Leaning on Love

The Two Wolves

Last week I wrote to you about how gratitude can be a life raft in the middle of adversity. Specifically, I wrote to you about the stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic knowing so many of us are exhausted. I hope that shifting to a mindset of gratitude was able to help you find a little joy last week as our nation’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise. I know firsthand, outside of the pandemic, how hard it is to find gratitude during pain. I also know firsthand that it is life-saving. I’d like to tell you more.

Fear or Love?

Around seven years ago I was new to running a business and had been single for a bit. During that time I was settling into my path. This was the beginning of building a spiritual mindset that still carries me today. Gabrielle Bernstein is a spiritual leader I followed who taught (and still teaches) about enlightenment. In her work, Gabrielle guides her readers through their egos back into their spirits. She encourages others to drop fear and embrace radical self-love. It is a hard and worthwhile journey I promise you. 

Back to me. At the time, I was light, joyful, and a little naive, if you will. I did give myself a piece of advice that was worth remembering; “Jessie, my love, there is fear and there is love. Both are hungry wolves within your soul-chose wisely which wolf you feed.” Even today, with much more at stake, I often center with this teaching and remember to lean into love, even when fear seeps in.

The Wolves of Fear

I would like to tell you that as I aged into my 30s I became wiser and kinder, that I was a cocoon that turned into a butterfly on my way to full enlightenment. I was not. I was breaking from the inside out. You see, in believing that love conquers all, I got married very quickly after my stint as a single woman. Within one week of becoming a married woman, my ex-husband changed his behavior towards me.

Five years later, in the office of a trauma counselor, I realized that I had experienced domestic abuse. 5 years of domestic abuse. It was only through the work of an amazing trauma team that I was able to quiet the fear, to rest the wolf. Yet, as I progressed through treatment, it was as though new wolves were growling to be fed.

To begin, I had just moved back home to Ohio. I had grown up incredibly close to my father’s family. I knew my family and I approached the world differently but I still loved them despite our differing beliefs. What I was unprepared for was what came when I opened up to my family about my experience of domestic abuse and what would come next.

Feeding the Wolves 

Within two weeks of opening up to my family about my experience with domestic abuse, my father’s family decided to side with my abuser because I was not submitting to my husband. I was told by a cousin I loved dearly that because I wasn’t being physically beaten that I was making it up. When my wonderful, kind, and bright father stood up for me, one of my uncles explained that an exorcism might be helpful (seriously). Another uncle, my favorite, sent me information on a retreat I could attend to learn my role as a wife so that God would restore my marriage (seriously). 

In leaning into my family I was exposed to a radical belief system that men are the head of the household and strong women need only to submit to make any abuse stop. To this day my ex-husband spends time with my father’s family and to this day my young sons are exposed to them on a regular basis. I just tell my little lions, “boys and girls are the same,” to hopefully plant the seed of equality amongst a field of bigotry. 

You may wonder why I haven’t shared this before or why I am sharing it with you now. I’ll tell you. I didn’t share this earlier because I was afraid of the court system. I thought if I spoke out it would be used against me. I guess it still might. I’m just not feeding the wolf of fear today. I am sharing it with you now because I want to let you know that I’m not just talking, I’m action. You see, leaving domestic abuse and going through a divorce combined with the exposure of and loss of a portion of my family is a pain I never saw myself dealing with. 

Finding Love

Yet here I am on a Monday morning, snuggled with my dogs, happily planning a quiet day on my farm. How? I remembered my own wisdom and, through the healing I embraced last winter, I also embraced gratitude. My experience with domestic abuse and divorce is just that, an experience. I got out and found that the most incredible family and friends were standing alongside me. They reminded me every day I was worthy and reflected love to me unconditionally until I was able to slowly feed my own wolf of love.

I’ve changed my own language from what I’ve lost to what I’ve gained. I haven’t lost a marriage, I’ve gained freedom. I haven’t lost a family, I found my true family. I haven’t lost myself, I’ve found her.

In shifting to a daily practice of gratitude I am not able to stop pain from happening and I am not totally free of fear. Remember the crowds in the stands? They can be hateful and loud. It hurts even more when a portion of the crowd shares your DNA. At least for me, it did. But outside of that noise is peace and knowledge that every human life matters, including mine. I am able to wipe the dust off my knees from whatever battle is ahead and bow in gratitude to the people standing beside me.

I do not know what pain outside of the COVID-19 pandemic you might be facing. But this I know to be true: love is stronger than fear. Dig deep into your soul and coax that darling wolf of love out. If you can’t feed her yet let others help, then say thank you. 

The world will always bring adversity but your heart will always offer you love. 

In gratitude to my family, friends, and employees for reminding me of who I am.

Xoxo,

Jessie

If you are experiencing domestic violence or abuse speak up, reach out, get out.