Updated: May 22, 2019
Applied Behavior Analysis, a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior, may be beneficial to children with autism. In a report this past month, Click on Detroit spotlighted several parents of children with autism who say they have seen significant improvements in their children’s behavior and development thanks to ABA.
Kelly Buska, whose six-year-old son Nuya was diagnosed with autism as a toddler, said he has made enormous strides through ABA.
“He didn't talk, make eye contact, or you couldn't touch him,” Buska was quoted as saying. “He wouldn't play with toys. He would spin door knobs hours on end," she said. "When he first came he had a lot of aggression. He had self-inaudible behavior. He was very low functioning on the autism spectrum."
Four and a half years after his diagnosis, however, Nuya has improved drastically.
“He can do subtraction, addition,” Buska said. “He's so smart ... he does reading and spelling," she said. "It's really emotional just thinking, like, my child can speak, I didn’t think this would ever be possible let alone doing multiplication at 6 years old.”
ABA therapy programs have numerous benefits, such as helping children with autism increase language and communication skills, improve attention, focus, social skills, memory, and academics, and decrease problem behaviors.
The effectiveness of ABA has been attested to by many sources, including the 2001 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health, which stated that “among the many methods available for treatment and education of people with Autism, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has become widely accepted as an effective treatment. Thirty years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and in increasing communication, learning, and appropriate social behavior.”