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4 Common Misconceptions of Applied Behavior Analysis



We often hear negativity when it comes to Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA therapy when in actuality, ABA therapy can change the lives of many who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA Therapy, can be defined as the scientific approach of understanding behaviors and then changing those behaviors. ABA therapy can help children with behavior problems, social skills, and sensory issues, just to name a few.


Let’s dive into some common misconceptions we often hear about ABA.


ABA Therapy is only beneficial to young children.

While ABA therapy is most beneficial in early intervention, it can also be used on teenagers and young adults. Often, ABA therapy is used on older children to help change certain behaviors. Believe it or not, ABA therapy can also be used on animals! For example, many dog trainers use ABA therapy to train their pups!


It is all about only saying no to children.

ABA heavily focuses on positive reinforcement. In ABA therapy, therapists focus more on getting the appropriate response rather than on what the child is doing wrong. Therefore, the word no is used less often as people may think.


All ABA programs are the same.

Not all ABA therapy is the same. Rarely is it ever the same for each client. At LEAP Autism Therapy, like most other ABA centers, we focus on creating individualized plans for each child. Each child is different and has different needs. So, when you are looking for a therapist to provide ABA therapy, ensure they can create individualized plans for your child with autism.


It is a form of bribery for children.

In ABA therapy, clients often get rewarded for good behavior. We call this a form of positive reinforcement. This can mean getting a treat such as a piece of candy, being able to play with their favorite toy, or taking a break from working. This can often be misconstrued as bribery. Bribery is forced, and the reward is given or mentioned before a behavior. ABA therapy only rewards after a task or behavior is completed without any form of force.


There are other misconceptions about ABA therapy, but these four are the ones we often hear. If you recently had a loved one that has been diagnosed with autism and would like to learn more about how ABA therapy works and how Leap Autism Therapy provides that treatment, reach out to us! We would be happy to answer any questions you may have to help get your loved one the therapy they need.

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