ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy is an evidence-based treatment approach used to address a range of behavioral challenges in individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disorders. While ABA therapy is typically provided in a clinical setting by trained professionals, there are several reasons why practicing ABA therapy skills at home can be beneficial for individuals and their families. Here are five of those reasons:
1. Reinforcing Skills Learned in Therapy: ABA therapy is typically delivered in a clinical setting, but its effectiveness can be maximized when skills are reinforced in the home environment. Practicing ABA therapy skills at home can help individuals maintain and generalize their learned behaviors, which can lead to more consistent progress in therapy.
2. Individualized Attention: Practicing ABA therapy skills at home allows for more individualized attention and opportunities for one-on-one interaction between the individual and their caregiver. This personalized attention can help reinforce specific skills and behaviors and increase the likelihood of success.
3. Family Involvement: ABA therapy can be a family affair. Practicing ABA therapy skills at home can involve the entire family, which can help create a supportive environment for the individual and encourage consistency across all caregivers.
4. Greater Flexibility: Practicing ABA therapy skills at home can provide greater flexibility in terms of scheduling and frequency of therapy. Families can work with their therapist to develop a schedule that fits their needs, which can help increase participation and engagement in therapy.
5. Generalization to real-life situations: Practicing skills and activities at home can help children with autism generalize those skills to real-life situations outside of therapy. This is important for helping them apply what they’ve learned to different contexts.
5 ABA Therapy Activities to Practice at Home
If your child is receiving therapy, ask their therapist for specific activities to practice at home. Here are some examples of activities that children with autism can do at home to reinforce skills learned in therapy:
1. Social skills: Practice taking turns, sharing, and playing with others. Play games that require taking turns, like Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders.
2. Communication skills: Practice using social cues, like eye contact and body language, during conversations. Play “Simon Says” to practice following directions and using language to communicate.
3. Sensory skills: Experiment with different textures, smells, and tastes. Encourage your child to touch and explore different materials. The kitchen is a great way to introduce new sensory inputs. Read more about it in our 10 Easy Fun Kitchen Activities For Children With Autism article.
4. Fine motor skills: Practice cutting, drawing, and tracing. Provide opportunities for your child to use different utensils, like scissors or markers, to improve their fine motor skills. A great and easy project is sewing yarn through a piece of cardboard with holes punched in it. Punch holes in the shape of animals and have them discover the animal as the yard is weaved through each hole.
5. Gross motor skills: Encourage physical activity, like running, jumping, and climbing. Play games that require movements, like tag or hide-and-seek.
Remember, it’s important to make practicing therapy skills at home a fun and engaging experience for your child. Incorporate activities that your child enjoys, and be patient and supportive as they learn and grow. With consistent practice, your child can make great progress in their development and success!
At Solstice Behavioral Health & Consulting in Shelton, CT, your child’s individualized treatment plan is designed to best meet the needs of your family and child. We collaborate with you to help your child progress in communication, self-help skills (like getting dressed and potty training), and social skills. As the expert on your child, we value your involvement and support in your child’s therapy. Call (203) 900-4720 to speak to a behavioral health expert.