Are you a parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? If so, you probably have already heard of behavioral management therapy for autism.
The strategies of this form of therapeutic care can help parents, other family members, school teachers, and friends deal with an autistic child’s behavioral challenges. Due to behavioral management therapy, children with ASD may become more self-aware of their actions and gain a better understanding of their environment and even the wider world around them.
What Is Behavioral Management Therapy?
You may be wondering, “How does behavior therapy treat autism?” Any type of therapy for children, adolescents, and adults with ASD is meant to manage the disorder instead of treating it. After all, there’s no cure for ASD, and behavioral management therapy does what it says it does, which is manage behaviors and not treat a disorder.
However, behavioral management therapy is not only used in programs for clients with ASD. It may also be used in cases where problematic behavior is observed early in life, regardless of the child’s overall mental health and wellness. Problematic behavior early in life can be related to the later development of negative outcomes such as academic performance problems and delinquency.
Interventions designed to address problem behaviors and increase more appropriate behaviors, such as behavioral management therapy, are essential for children to find more happiness and success later on in their lives. Behavior management therapy tries to reinforce positive behaviors and reduce problem behaviors. It also suggests what parents and other caregivers can do before, during, after, and between a child’s episodes of problem behaviors.
Is There a Difference Between Behavioral Management Therapy and ABA Therapy?
Many strategies of behavioral management therapy are based on both social learning theory and ABA therapy. Social learning theory asserts that people learn within a social context, primarily through observing and imitating the actions of others. It also asserts that learning is influenced by being rewarded or punished for particular behaviors. ABA therapy uses analytic assessment, direct observation, general learning principles, and objective measurement to shape behavior.
As mentioned above, behavioral management therapy is often used to help children with ASD. It’s a widely accepted approach that can track an autistic child’s progress in improving their behaviors and skills. Different ABA-related strategies can be used in behavioral management therapy, including the following:
- Discrete trial teaching (DTT): DTT teaches skills in a controlled and step-by-step way. Positive feedback is also used to encourage a child to use new, positive, and appropriate skills.
- Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI): EIBI provides personalized behavioral instruction to very young children with ASD. It requires a large time commitment from everyone involved and provides one-on-one or small-group instruction.
- Pivotal response training (PRT): PRT can take place in a child’s everyday environment. Its goal is to improve a few pivotal skills — such as gaining motivation or taking the initiative to communicate. These help the child to learn many other skills and deal with many situations.
- Positive behavioral support (PBS): First, PBS aims to figure out the reasons behind a child’s particular problem behaviors. Then it works to change the child’s environment, teach them skills, and make other changes that help them learn more positive and appropriate behaviors.
Other behavioral therapies, beyond ABA-related ones, may also be effective for clients with ASD and can be part of their behavioral management therapy program.
How Does Behavioral Management Therapy Help with Autism?
Behavior therapy doesn’t treat autism or cure it. Instead, behavioral management therapy for autism helps reinforce appropriate behaviors and reduce inappropriate ones that may cause a client with ASD trouble currently or later on in life.
Parents and other caregivers have the responsibility to help their children with ASD excel at home or in class. Having their children undergo behavioral management therapy is often very helpful. The goals of a behavioral management therapy program depend on what each client needs. These goals can include many different skill areas, such as the following:
- Communication, both verbal and non-verbal
- Learning and academic skills
- Motor skills
- Play and leisure
- Self-care skills, such as showering and going to the toilet
- Social skills
Learn More About Our Options for Behavioral Management Therapy
Are you interested in trying behavioral management therapy near Boston, MA? Contact Journey Autism & Behavioral Care Centers today by calling 844.222.4513 or reaching out to our team online.