The Importance of Consistency
in ABA Therapy

Children with autism sometimes have a certain degree of difficulty making sense of what goes on in the world around them. Sights, sounds, and actions that make perfect sense to neurotypical people may be overwhelming or confusing to those with autism. This is why many people with autism find repetition to be comforting, and why it’s so important to them that people, places, and daily experiences in their lives remain consistent.

Let’s take a deeper look at the significance of consistency for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and how essential it is to use that same level of consistency for ABA — and not just during your child’s therapy session!

autism-treatments

Why is Consistency Important for Children with ASD?

Developing a routine helps children with autism feel safer because they know what to expect. Familiar places and faces, doing activities at the same fixed time every day, and even eating the same meals over and over helps build a sense of stability.

However, it also means that any disruption to that routine can potentially be catastrophic. For example, if the grocery store runs out of your child’s favorite comfort food, or a thunderstorm cancels your daily trip to the park, it may result in your child becoming frustrated or angry, and lead them to act out negatively.

In these cases, preparation is key; in the above example, you could check the weather every day to prepare your child as early as possible for a change in routine. But you can’t possibly account for everything that could go awry every single day — and working through unforeseen changes is essential to helping your child build coping skills for when these changes do inevitably happen. That’s where ABA therapy comes in!

autism-treatment-cost

Why is Consistency Important in ABA Therapy?

ABA therapy uses that same reliance on consistency to reinforce positive behaviors in children with ASD, and to replace negative behaviors with more constructive ones. But the key with ABA therapy is the high level of parent involvement it requires. It’s not enough for a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) to help your child master a behavior in the classroom.

The problem with only applying ABA in the classroom is that the child may begin to associate these behaviors only with their therapy sessions, leading them to understand that the classroom is the only place where they need to exercise these behaviors; by default, home may become a place where they feel comfortable continuing negative behaviors, which doesn’t help anyone — least of all your child.

With ABA therapy, your BCBA or RBT will teach you the same techniques they used to encourage those positive behaviors in your child, so that they understand that these behaviors are expected of them in every environment. This way, you can reinforce the behaviors you’d like to see at home, at the park, at the grocery store, or on whatever adventures your life takes you!

autism-schools

What Happens if Your Child Stops ABA Therapy?

ABA therapy is highly individualized, and although some children with ASD undergo long-term ABA therapy, others do not; it simply depends on your child’s needs. At The Cardinal Center for Behavior Analysis, our goal is to help your child function as independently as possible — in short, we want you to not need us anymore!

Since every child is different, some may need ABA therapy longer than others, but discontinuing ABA therapy before your child has achieved their goals — or giving up on working with your child outside the classroom — risks taking their behaviors all the way back to square one.

If for any reason you’d like to terminate your child’s ABA therapy, you are always free to do so, but it’s important to sit down with your BCBA and determine if it’s the right time for your child to stop ABA. Otherwise, you could risk undoing the progress they have made so far. Again: consistency is key!

autism-treatments

Why is Consistency Important for Children with ASD?

Developing a routine helps children with autism feel safer because they know what to expect. Familiar places and faces, doing activities at the same fixed time every day, and even eating the same meals over and over helps build a sense of stability.

However, it also means that any disruption to that routine can potentially be catastrophic. For example, if the grocery store runs out of your child’s favorite comfort food, or a thunderstorm cancels your daily trip to the park, it may result in your child becoming frustrated or angry, and lead them to act out negatively.

In these cases, preparation is key; in the above example, you could check the weather every day to prepare your child as early as possible for a change in routine. But you can’t possibly account for everything that could go awry every single day — and working through unforeseen changes is essential to helping your child build coping skills for when these changes do inevitably happen. That’s where ABA therapy comes in!

autism-treatment-cost

Why is Consistency Important in ABA Therapy?

ABA therapy uses that same reliance on consistency to reinforce positive behaviors in children with ASD, and to replace negative behaviors with more constructive ones. But the key with ABA therapy is the high level of parent involvement it requires. It’s not enough for a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) to help your child master a behavior in the classroom.

The problem with only applying ABA in the classroom is that the child may begin to associate these behaviors only with their therapy sessions, leading them to understand that the classroom is the only place where they need to exercise these behaviors; by default, home may become a place where they feel comfortable continuing negative behaviors, which doesn’t help anyone — least of all your child.

With ABA therapy, your BCBA or RBT will teach you the same techniques they used to encourage those positive behaviors in your child, so that they understand that these behaviors are expected of them in every environment. This way, you can reinforce the behaviors you’d like to see at home, at the park, at the grocery store, or on whatever adventures your life takes you!

autism-schools

What Happens if Your Child Stops ABA Therapy?

ABA therapy is highly individualized, and although some children with ASD undergo long-term ABA therapy, others do not; it simply depends on your child’s needs. At The Cardinal Center for Behavior Analysis, our goal is to help your child function as independently as possible — in short, we want you to not need us anymore!

Since every child is different, some may need ABA therapy longer than others, but discontinuing ABA therapy before your child has achieved their goals — or giving up on working with your child outside the classroom — risks taking their behaviors all the way back to square one.

If for any reason you’d like to terminate your child’s ABA therapy, you are always free to do so, but it’s important to sit down with your BCBA and determine if it’s the right time for your child to stop ABA. Otherwise, you could risk undoing the progress they have made so far. Again: consistency is key!

ABA Therapy in Cary, NC

At the Cardinal Center for Behavior Analysis, we believe in using the things your child loves to help them learn and grow. To learn more about our ABA therapy services for children with autism, reach out to us at (919) 873-4698, or fill out our contact form to request a confidential consultation today.

Questions?

Get in touch. We're here to help.