Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) is an intervention – a way of enabling learning and development. In its simplest form it uses motivational techniques and reinforcement to get Liam to do what we want him to do (e.g. communicate, learn etc) and not what he wants to do (e.g. stimming, head butting etc). Our experience of ABA so far has been eye opening! We’ve seen Liam engrossed in his ABA therapist, laughing throughout his sessions, doing things we didn’t think he could do and most importantly for us, talking!
For a more scientific explanation of ABA there are some great websites including:
ABA is not a cure for Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) but some people who have followed an ABA programme have been found to make substantial progress. This has certainly been the case for Liam. Liam was saying just two words per day (if we were lucky!) prior to ABA, now we are getting 200 (including “Mummy” and “Daddy”) and his words are becoming clearer each time.
We now feel it’s not a case of if Liam will ever talk but when…?
ABA Therapy is expensive, Typical ABA programmes cost around £20,000 a year, (source National Autistic Society). We are just a simple, hard working family and our children are very young, we don’t have those means at our disposal, however it’s what works for Liam! So we have been fundraising to help pay for whatever ABA we can access and are training volunteers up to give Liam more access to ABA and in return they will receive training in ABA, experience and a reference.