There is no known cure for autism, but research has shown that early intervention with intensive behavioral therapies can significantly improve functioning. Clinical trials have demonstrated that intensive Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) not only reduces the symptoms of autism, but also significantly increases IQ, language abilities and daily living skills.
Typically developing children learn without intervention – the world around them provides the right conditions to learn language, play, and social skills. The ability of children with autism to learn from the environment is severely impaired. The development of basic communication and social skills requires a highly structured environment, one where conditions are optimized for acquiring the same skills that typical children learn naturally. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientifically validated approach to structure the environment to enable children with autism to acquire social, behavioral and communications skills.
ABA uses careful behavioral observation, reinforcement and prompting to teach each step of a behavior. A child’s behavior is reinforced with a reward when he performs each of the steps correctly. Undesirable behaviors, or those that interfere with learning and social skills, are carefully analyzed to determine what happens to trigger a behavior, and what happens after that behavior that seems to reinforce the behavior. The idea is to remove these triggers and reinforcers from the child’s environment. New reinforcers are then used to teach the child a different behavior in response to the same trigger.
Research has indicated that children with autism need 25-40 hours per week of intensive Applied Behavior Analysis interventions for a period of one to three years for maximum effectiveness.
ABA has been proven to change lives.