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What is ABA Therapy – A Mom Speaks

What is ABA Therapy – A Mom’s Success Story.

If you’ve asked about ABA therapy for autism and wanted a testimonial Shannon Penrod is the person to listen too, says Yvette Guigneaux SCV Parent Times Editor.

Her autistic son Jem went from socially outgoing and commutative to unresponsive starting at age 18 months. When he regressed into autistic behavior.

After getting diagnosed with autism ABA, Applied Behavior Analysis was applied.

Brüllendes_Kind_1924 changing behavior what is ABA therapy

Noting changing behavior in babies is critical for early diagnosis of Autism

What is ABA therapy? Shannon’s Story

It was through ABA Therapy that Penrod and Jem’s father, Jim Miller, discovered Jem was suffering from headaches, but was unable to communicate that he was in pain.

So he banged his head on the floor to get the attention and to create temporary relief from the headache pain.

Mundane child rearing experiences — such as toilet training and learning to walk — became nightmares.

Then came ABA Therapy.

“It was through ABA Therapy at the Center for Autism Related Disorders, that we found out this behavior is quite common with kids on the autistic spectrum,” Penrod said. “We also found out how to communicate with Jem to change such behaviors and ABA was the key.”

ABA Therapy was developed in the 1960s as a scientific teaching method to reach kids with developmental disorders and was later re-introduced in an article by Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas, of the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Behavioral Treatment and Normal Educational and Intellectual Functioning in Young Autistic Children” was published in 1987 in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

The article described the ABA treatment which focuses on everyday skills being broken down into small tasks. The key is to teach the tasks on an individual basis.

This could include eye contact, imitation, motor skills, academics, language and conversation.

Students start with small tasks and gradually work their way to larger tasks, each task being repetitive in nature.

The therapy is designed to create repetitive behaviors and responses conducive with the child’s environment the child.

At the end of each successfully completed behavior or task, the child is rewarded.

Jem’s parents tried ABA Therapy on Jem — and the results were more than rewarding.

“I have my life back thanks to ABA,” said Penrod. “I can walk down the street holding my son’s hand without him suddenly darting out into traffic or lying down on the sidewalk, because he now understands the concept of how his environment works.”

Grateful her son was improving thanks to the ABA Therapy, Penrod’s focus shifted to a constant question in her mind.

“I suddenly began thinking, ‘What about all the other moms in this same situation who don’t have access to ABA or any treatment at all for that matter?’” Penrod said.

“ABA is a scientifically proven effective treatment for autism that gave us our lives back, and not just my husband and I, but it gave all of us, especially Jem, our lives back.”

She also wanted to debunk what she called a growing myth that she hears occasionally that a child can outgrow autism.

“Any child, teenager or young adult you see out there functioning normally today who ranges somewhere on the autistic spectrum had ABA or a similar treatment,” Penrod said. “There is no such thing as outgrowing autism. There is therapy and hard work behind the scenes and that is how those positive results happen.”

ABA Therapy has become a proven successful treatment, but can be expensive because of its intensive nature and long-term status, Penrod said.

You can read Yvette Guigneaux’s story how Shannon Penrod has built on the success of her son. Shannon now broadcasts daily programs related to autism on web radio. Visit http://www.autism-live.com/ to catch her show.

What is ABA therapy? You can’t go wrong if you listen to Shannon for that answer.

Information on implementing ABA therapy and other related topics are discussed in detail at http://autismandthrerapy.com/ where you can get news and updates as well.

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