ABA vs. Other Autism Therapies:
What You Should Know

When your child is diagnosed with autism, your pediatric psychiatrist may recommend different interventions and services depending on their diagnosis and your child’s needs. These recommendations may include Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, or even a combination of the three.

Whether you’re waiting on the diagnosis or your child’s current autism therapy isn’t going the way you’ve hoped, it’s important that parents stay informed of the different types of autism therapy available. Let’s take a look at the different types of autism spectrum therapies and how they can help your child.

ABA Therapy

What is ABA Therapy?

ABA therapy has been considered the gold standard for autism treatment for decades, but it hasn’t been without controversy — some adults with autism have criticized the ABA they received as children as being too strict and rigid, relying on punishment to get results. Thankfully, this is no longer the case, and ABA has come a long way since then.

ABA is a data-driven therapy that encourages positive behaviors by using the things your child loves in order to motivate them and discouraging negative behaviors by replacing them with more constructive ones. Your child’s progress is tracked and measured, and ABA relies heavily on family participation at home to consistently reinforce the behaviors learned in therapy.

Speech Therapy

What is Speech Therapy?

Many individuals with ASD have difficulty communicating, from nonverbal people with autism to those who speak clearly but have trouble holding a conversation. Speech therapy for kids with autism addresses language and communication specifically. After an evaluation with a speech-language pathologist (SLP), your child’s communication strengths and deficits will be determined, after which the SLP will program your child’s therapy based on their needs.

Since every child with autism has different communication levels, there are a number of things speech-language therapy can encompass, including working on proper articulation of certain sounds, reducing echolalia (or “parroting”), using the appropriate tone of voice for different situations, and reading body language and expressions.

Occupational therapy for children

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy for children with autism focuses specifically on tasks that children are expected to do depending on their age, like getting dressed, tying their shoes, or even toilet training. It can also help develop fine motor skills, coordination, posture, and balance.

Similar to an SLP for speech therapy or Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) for ABA, an occupational therapist will assess your child and craft an individualized treatment program to help them develop the occupational skills they need in order to function as independently as possible.

Autism Spectrum Therapy

Autism Spectrum Therapy in Cary, NC

When it comes to treatment for autism spectrum disorder, the type of therapy your child will receive will depend largely on a professional assessment of their individual needs; there is no one best therapy for kids with autism, because every person with autism is different!

 At The Cardinal Center for Behavior Analysis, our Individual ABA Therapy and Group ABA Therapy services are completely tailored to meet your child’s unique needs. If you have any questions about ABA or wish to learn more about our autism treatments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (919) 822-8802, or fill out our contact form to request a confidential consultation today.


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