September 28, 2022

How ABA Therapy Can Improve Communication Skills in Children

ABA therapy helps address communication barriers for children, motivating them to communicate their needs and feelings more constructively.

Key takeaways:

  • The impact of communication difficulties in children
  • Understanding ABA therapy
  • Four ways to promote clear communication with ABA therapy

Behavior is a form of communication. All behavior exists to meet some kind of need, and when children need to communicate but have trouble doing so, their communication can manifest in maladaptive or undesired behaviors.

Tantrums and other challenging behaviors can often mean your child is experiencing difficulty properly communicating their feelings. With Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA therapy, parents can motivate their children with the tools they need to communicate more effectively.

ABA Therapy is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior. Children with ASD usually need more help developing fine-tuned communication skills, and ABA therapy can help. Without proper communication skills, children can easily experience many other developmental and learning disadvantages, but with early intervention, parents can set their children up for success.

In this article, we’ll discover more about communication disorders, ABA therapy, and the ways it focuses on improving your child’s communication skills. Plus, we also offer tips on how to implement these practices at home.

The impact of communication difficulty in children

Communication skills are vital for a society to function. They are how we learn, connect, develop relationships, and process our feelings and emotions. Unfortunately, for those who have difficulty communicating, life can be made more difficult.

Communication is especially important for children who are learning and beginning their cognitive development. Learning is facilitated through communication, but when children are stunted in their communication skills, it can lead to hurdles learning basic skills, as well as overall development.

Children who don’t get treatment for communication struggles can experience difficulty with school, socializing, reading, writing, and verbal communication, and often show poor judgment due to a misunderstanding of social cues. Understanding your child’s unique communication needs can help you seek the right treatment that teaches behavioral language techniques to help them through their childhood development.

What is ABA therapy?

ABA is an evidenced based practice of understanding and analyzing behavior by categorizing certain cues in your child and implementing techniques to help them express themselves in more constructive ways. ABA aims to help families understand 3 main goals:

  1. What is behavior?
  2. How behavior is affected by the environment?
  3. How can we teach appropriate behaviors and decrease challenging behaviors?

ABA therapy is adaptive and can be tailored to each child’s specific needs in any environment. It involves a lot of positive reinforcement to support constructive behaviors that aid in communication. For parents, ABA therapy is all about understanding your child’s behavioral cues so that you can promote positive replacement behaviors. For children, ABA therapy is about getting the tools to feel comfortable in your environment and community.

4 ways to promote clear communication with ABA

Your child may need a bit more help developing their communication skills, but preparing them to properly communicate with you and within their community doesn’t have to be difficult. ABA therapy utilizes Augmentative and Alternative Communication or AAC to help address your child’s specific communication needs. Here are 4 forms of AAC and how they can be implemented in an ABA therapy program:

  • PECS: The Association for Science in Autism Treatment defines PECs as “a methodology that uses pictures and other symbols to develop a functional communication system for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based upon the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA).” This is a great start for children in ABA therapy.
  • SDGs: SDGs are a type of ABA portable machinery that help your child in their daily life. SDGs go a step further with verbal prompts and voice output to help children ease into social interactions.
  • Communication boards: Communication boards are a great tool to utilize at home with your child and can even be used as a bonding exercise between children and caregivers.
  • Sign language: Sign language is a great option for nonverbal children who are learning to communicate their wants, needs, and feelings. This method is helpful in eliciting efficient responses in children with severe difficulty communicating.
  • Every child’s path with communication is different but with the help of ABA therapy, your child can overcome hurdles and develop the skills they need to practice clear and effective communication.

ABA therapy With Lumiere Children’s Therapy

Lumiere Children’s Therapy is a full-service, multidisciplinary pediatric therapy practice serving children and families in the Chicago area. It was founded on the belief that we all have different strengths and weaknesses, and our therapy is designed to bring your child’s strengths to light while brightening the road ahead.

At Lumiere Children’s Therapy, we focus on achieving the little milestones that combine to make a big difference. Our unique approach is tailored to each child’s specific needs. We believe in neurodiversity and pride ourselves on developing programs that fit the neuropsychological needs and differences of each child and their family. Our wide range of services include:

  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • ABA therapy
  • Social work
  • Teletherapy
  • Early intervention
  • AAC
  • Developmental therapy

At Lumiere Children’s Therapy, we believe in a hands-on approach that will empower your child to properly manage their emotions and communicate in more constructive ways. Our unique qualifications go above and beyond required state guidelines, such as:

  • A qualified staff of therapists who have all earned Master’s or Doctorate certifications in their field
  • A 1:1 child/therapist ratio promoting dedicated, individualized attention for your child
  • Easy and flexible scheduling – we make it work for you
  • A complimentary verification of insurance benefits
  • A wide range of programs for schools that work with high-functioning, gifted children

Find out more about our ABA therapy services and discover how you can help your child develop the communication skills that will help them achieve success in all walks of life. Call us today.

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