EAS https://earlyautismservices.com/ Autism Therapy, ABA Therapy, Early Autism Services Thu, 26 May 2022 13:05:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.5 https://earlyautismservices.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/eas_icon_LBO_icon.ico EAS https://earlyautismservices.com/ 32 32 46603196 PeerKnect: Building Social Connections for Children of All Abilities https://anchor.fm/nazhah-khawaja9/episodes/Welcome-to-Life-at-EASe-e1aank2/a-a6tfoui#new_tab https://anchor.fm/nazhah-khawaja9/episodes/Welcome-to-Life-at-EASe-e1aank2/a-a6tfoui#new_tab#respond Thu, 26 May 2022 13:05:32 +0000 https://earlyautismservices.com/?p=7111 On this episode of Life at EASe we are speaking with Emily and Victoria about a revolutionary app – PeerKnect. PeerKnect is an app that parents and therapists may download...

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On this episode of Life at EASe we are speaking with Emily and Victoria about a revolutionary app – PeerKnect. PeerKnect is an app that parents and therapists may download and use in order to build social connections by posting playdates and events for children of all abilities. Emily Bruce is the CEO and Founder of Determinism, LLC, the developer of the platform PeerKnect. She is a Board Certified and licensed Behavior Analyst (BCBA, LBA) in the State of Tennessee with an M.S., in Psychology. Victoria Williams is a mother to a four year old daughter diagnosed with autism. She is an Inclusion Advocate for PeerKnect.

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Special Needs Advocacy with MUHSEN: Building an Environment of Support In the Muslim Community https://anchor.fm/nazhah-khawaja9/episodes/Welcome-to-Life-at-EASe-e1aank2/a-a6tfoui#new_tab https://anchor.fm/nazhah-khawaja9/episodes/Welcome-to-Life-at-EASe-e1aank2/a-a6tfoui#new_tab#respond Thu, 26 May 2022 13:02:53 +0000 https://earlyautismservices.com/?p=7108 On this episode of Life at EASe we are speaking with Joohi Tahir, Co-Founder and Executive Director of MUHSEN (Muslims Understanding & Helping Special Education Needs). MUHSEN is a revolutionary...

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On this episode of Life at EASe we are speaking with Joohi Tahir, Co-Founder and Executive Director of MUHSEN (Muslims Understanding & Helping Special Education Needs). MUHSEN is a revolutionary non-profit founded by Shaykh Omar Suleiman. As a leader of this organization, Joohi advocates and markets the needs for which MUHSEN implements programs and services across North America promoting inclusion of all members of the community impacted by special needs through awareness, accommodation and acceptance.

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Collaborative Care: ABA, Speech Therapy & Occupational Therapy https://anchor.fm/nazhah-khawaja9/episodes/Welcome-to-Life-at-EASe-e1aank2/a-a6tfoui#new_tab https://anchor.fm/nazhah-khawaja9/episodes/Welcome-to-Life-at-EASe-e1aank2/a-a6tfoui#new_tab#respond Thu, 26 May 2022 12:55:25 +0000 https://earlyautismservices.com/?p=7105 On this episode of Life at EASe we are speaking with Samara Shalom (Mrs. Sami) and Elina Mehrabi about the benefits of Collaborative Care when ABA, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy,...

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On this episode of Life at EASe we are speaking with Samara Shalom (Mrs. Sami) and Elina Mehrabi about the benefits of Collaborative Care when ABA, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and any other therapy for that matter work, together in assisting a child with their goals. Sami is a Speech Language Pathologist and Founder of SpeechLeap. SpeechLeap provides speech and language evaluations and treatments to children and young adults up to age 21 in Baltimore MD. Elina Mehrabi is the lead OT with SpeechLeap. Elina started her career working with both adults and pediatrics with neurological and orthopedic conditions in an outpatient setting. As a mother, Elina enjoys integrating play-based activities to make therapy fun, and goal-oriented for children.

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Essential Resources for Children with Special Needs https://anchor.fm/nazhah-khawaja9/episodes/Welcome-to-Life-at-EASe-e1aank2/a-a6tfoui#new_tab https://anchor.fm/nazhah-khawaja9/episodes/Welcome-to-Life-at-EASe-e1aank2/a-a6tfoui#new_tab#respond Thu, 26 May 2022 12:52:06 +0000 https://earlyautismservices.com/?p=7101 On this episode of Life at EASe we are speaking with Eric Jorgensen, Founder of Special Needs Navigator and host of the ‘ABCs of Disability Planning’ podcast. As a consultant...

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On this episode of Life at EASe we are speaking with Eric Jorgensen, Founder of Special Needs Navigator and host of the ‘ABCs of Disability Planning’ podcast. As a consultant with Special Needs Navigator, Eric helps families, individuals and professionals across the country navigate the maze of disability benefits, resources, and services available to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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Autism & Zoom-Schooling: A Parent’s Perspective https://anchor.fm/nazhah-khawaja9/episodes/Welcome-to-Life-at-EASe-e1aank2/a-a6tfoui#new_tab https://anchor.fm/nazhah-khawaja9/episodes/Welcome-to-Life-at-EASe-e1aank2/a-a6tfoui#new_tab#respond Tue, 17 May 2022 19:40:48 +0000 https://earlyautismservices.com/?p=7085 On this episode of Life at EASe we are speaking with Mel McSherry, International Business Guide, Speaker, Author, & Mom to a wonderful ten year old on the spectrum. As...

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On this episode of Life at EASe we are speaking with Mel McSherry, International Business Guide, Speaker, Author, & Mom to a wonderful ten year old on the spectrum.

As an entrepreneur since 2010, Mel has launched two successful businesses, become a 2x published author, and lives her life by design all while raising a ten year old son. Tune in to hear about some of the challenges Mel and her family faced with zoom-schooling and how she approached those challenges. Mel shares a few useful tips for caregivers who are zoom-schooling their child. You may find Mel on Instagram @mel_mcsherry. Visit her website for more details about her upcoming events, and consultation services Mel McSherry.

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Special Needs Advocacy with MUHSEN: Building an Environment of Support In the Muslim Community https://earlyautismservices.com/special-needs-advocacy-with-muhsen-building-an-environment-of-support-in-the-muslim-community/ https://earlyautismservices.com/special-needs-advocacy-with-muhsen-building-an-environment-of-support-in-the-muslim-community/#respond Sat, 09 Apr 2022 18:11:10 +0000 https://earlyautismservices.com/?p=6973 On this episode of Life at EASe we are speaking with Joohi Tahir, Co-Founder and Executive Director of MUHSEN (Muslims Understanding & Helping Special Education Needs). MUHSEN is a revolutionary...

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On this episode of Life at EASe we are speaking with Joohi Tahir, Co-Founder and Executive Director of MUHSEN (Muslims Understanding & Helping Special Education Needs). MUHSEN is a revolutionary non-profit founded by Shaykh Omar Suleiman. As a leader of this organization, Joohi advocates and markets the needs for which MUHSEN implements programs and services across North America promoting inclusion of all members of the community impacted by special needs through awareness, accommodation and acceptance. Visit MUHSEN’S website www.muhsen.org and follow them on FB, IG and Twitter @Muhsenorg for more information on their programs and services and to get involved. You may send questions or requests to info@muhsen.org . Check out our presentation on Education for Welcoming Families with Children with Autism to a Worship Community: https://youtu.be/GxSntzpCOoc . We look forward to being able to assist your place of worship in creating a more inclusive space for families with neurodivergent children.

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What is ABA Therapy? https://earlyautismservices.com/what-aba-therapy-is/ https://earlyautismservices.com/what-aba-therapy-is/#respond Mon, 21 Mar 2022 15:25:11 +0000 https://earlyautismservices.com/?p=6845 Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy uses the science of learning and behavior to study how behavior works. This treatment aims to help your child make positive behaviors into lasting habits....

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Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy uses the science of learning and behavior to study how behavior works. This treatment aims to help your child make positive behaviors into lasting habits.

At Early Autism Services, we understand each child is unique and tailor our ABA therapy program to fit your child’s specific needs. Our ABA services are available in various methods, such as center-based treatment and telehealth.

How ABA Works

During your child’s Applied Behavior Analysis therapy session for autism, their therapist may use several techniques. The therapist may instruct your child on different focus areas in some sessions. For other sessions, your child may take the lead, with their therapist observing their reactions and behaviors.

One of the primary strategies used during an ABA therapy session is positive reinforcement. Each time your child exhibits a positive behavior, they will receive a reward that is meaningful to them. Over time, this behavior will become a habit and lead to lasting behavior change.

Another strategy used in ABA therapy is understanding antecedents, behaviors and consequences, or A-B-C’s. By understanding what happens before and after your child performs a behavior, our therapists can learn why this action is happening and how different consequences affect the likelihood of the behavior occurring again. By frequently practicing and adjusting the program as needed, your child will eventually replace a negative behavior with a more helpful one.

Why We Use ABA Therapy for Children With Autism

ABA therapy is effective for many different kinds of learners who wish to gain skills ranging from adopting healthy eating habits to learning a new language. This therapy is effective as an evidence-based intervention for autism spectrum disorder treatment. ABA therapy programs have helped children in areas such as:

  • Improving language or communication.
  • Increasing attention or focus inside and outside the classroom.
  • Decreasing behavior issues.

During our autism therapy treatment, one of our board-certified behavior analysts will customize your child’s program to best fit their learning preferences, needs and family situation. After assessing your child, our analysts will create treatment goals and a plan for the following sessions. Your child’s therapist will then break this goal down into small, actionable steps and collect data during each therapy session to determine if your child is meeting their goals or if their program requires some adjustments.

Is ABA Right for Your Child?

ABA therapy is an excellent therapy option for many children. Below are some situations to evaluate when considering if ABA therapy would be beneficial for your child.

  • Does your child experience difficulty communicating or continuing conversations?
  • Has your child had a hard time with transitions or changes to their routine?
  • Have you noticed your child having little interest or difficulty learning self-care tasks?
  • Does your child often exhibit negative behavior seemingly without reason?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, our ABA therapy services may be a good fit for your child. To explore your child’s therapy options, contact your local office today. We are happy to answer any questions or schedule a free consultation to understand your child’s needs.

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What is Autism? https://earlyautismservices.com/what-is-autism/ https://earlyautismservices.com/what-is-autism/#respond Fri, 11 Mar 2022 21:24:01 +0000 https://earlyautismservices.com/?p=6836 The post What is Autism? appeared first on EAS.

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Autism, otherwise known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), isn’t just a reference to one single condition. ASD includes conditions such as Asperger syndrome, autism disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder. This change was made in 2013 when medical professionals altered the criteria for an autism diagnosis to better distinguish symptoms and to include other conditions under the ASD umbrella.
ASD is characterized as a developmental disorder that impacts an individual’s social and communication skills. Other characterizations include repetitive behaviors, the ability to self-regulate, potential challenges in building relationships and even challenges with self-help. Signs for this condition often appear early in life, typically around ages 2 to 3 years old. However, signs can go unnoticed for years and a diagnosis might not be made until later in life.

Recent data tells us that 1 in 54 children are diagnosed with ASD and while this condition can affect people from any social and economic group, minorities often experience problems in receiving a diagnosis as early or as often. Boys also have a higher rate of diagnosis, being 4 times more likely to be affected. Research shows that catching the signs early and being diagnosed can significantly benefit the quality of life for the individual.

 

What Causes Autism?

Much speculation exists about the cause of autism but there are things we know for certain. In the vast majority of cases, individuals are born with autism as a result of their genetics. Children who have siblings with autism do have a higher risk of having autism as well, particularly if the children are twins. Having children at an older age increases the chances of your offspring having ASD as well.

Besides genetics, there are a few other factors that we are aware of that can increase the chances of ASD in children. Certain prescriptions drugs taken during pregnancy, for example, have been linked to a higher chance of ASD. These drugs include valproic acid and thalidomide. Having other chromosomal or genetic conditions also can increase the chances of an ASD diagnosis, such as fragile X syndrome. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that there is some evidence to suggest that a critical period exists for ASD development in the time before, during and immediately after giving birth.

There are still things we don’t know about what causes ASD or what other specific factors can influence its development. Over the last couple of decades, many theories have circulated around the internet about the potential causes of ASD. One thing we do know for certain, thanks to research, is that childhood vaccines do not cause ASD.

Signs of Autism

Signs of Autism

Most people are diagnosed with autism very early in life and boys tend to be diagnosed sooner than girls since symptoms of ASD can be missed by parents and caregivers. Since boys experience ASD at a higher rate, symptoms are not looked for or noticed as often as in girls and what may be regarded as a quiet or shy disposition can often be signs of autism instead.

Since spotting the signs and symptoms of ASD early is a key part of quality treatment for this condition, understanding the signs can help you catch it earlier rather than later. There are many symptoms of ASD and not all may apply to an individual, but here is how ASD may manifest in a person:

  • Difficulty making friends and maintaining relationships
  • Difficulty understanding social cues
  • Interest in people but difficulty communicating
  • Different reactions to certain sounds, tastes, smells or feelings. This can look like a hypersensitivity to sound, for example
  • Repeated actions and routines
  • Difficulty understanding their own and other’s feelings
  • Trouble displaying their emotions and communicating their needs
  • Having adverse reactions to touch or physical affection
  • Special and obsessive interests
  • Avoiding eye contact and a desire to be alone
  • Stimming, or repetitive body motions, to help self-regulate their emotions

Some individuals may experience all of these symptoms while others may not. Since autism exists on a spectrum, the severity of the condition will greatly vary from person to person. For example, 31 percent of people experience an intellectual disability as a result of ASD while 44 percent of people with ASD have an average or above average IQ score.

ASD is often accompanied by other conditions as well, such as gastrointestinal issues such as GERD or acid reflux. People who have ASD may also experience things such as seizures and sleeping problems. Mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, may exist alongside ASD as well.

 

ASD Diagnosis

The American Psychological Association (APA) uses the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM) in order to diagnose varying conditions and for ASD, the core symptoms of autism must be present in some measure in early childhood. These symptoms do not have to be fully developed during this period of life, and a diagnosis may not be made until later in life but in order to qualify as ASD, the symptoms must’ve existed to some degree very early in life.

Since there is no medical test, such as a blood test or an MRI scan, that exists that can detect autism, it can be hard to properly diagnose. In order to receive a diagnosis, medical professionals will look at the symptoms the patient is experiencing as well as their childhood history and behavior to determine if the patient has ASD.

The earliest signs that doctors look for in order to make a diagnosis include:

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Easily upset by changes
  • Little communication skills in comparison to peers

Once these symptoms are identified, a doctor may go ahead and assign an ASD diagnosis. Some children are able to be diagnosed as early as 18 months but others may not be diagnosed until 2 years old. Sometimes it may be recommended to monitor a child’s development first to see if symptoms continue to present themselves before making a diagnosis. This can be done through either developmental screening or monitoring. However, this means that some children may not be diagnosed until later in life and some people aren’t diagnosed until they reach adulthood due to their ASD being misdiagnosed as a mental illness, such as anxiety or depression.

This isn’t surprising, considering that mental illness can often exist simultaneously with ASD. Anxiety affects 11 to 40 percent of children and young adults with ASD. Depression affects 7 percent of children and 26 percent of adults with ASD. If autism is not diagnosed early in life, getting help during the early stages of development will be difficult.

Autism in Boys vs. Girls

Autism in Boys vs. Girls

Some research suggests that a child’s gender also plays a part in getting diagnosed. While boys are way more likely to have ASD, girls with ASD often go unnoticed. This is because there is a possibility that certain symptoms appear more in boys than they do in girls.

Boys more often present the telltale signs of ASD, such as repetitive behaviors or poor impulse control.

Societal expectations also play a role in the gender divide here. Girls are often expected to be quieter and more reserved, so noticing troubles with their communication skills will be more difficult. Girls with autism are also more likely to make friends than their counterparts, which makes identifying problems with socialization hard. Part of the reason girls can be so hard to diagnose early in life is that they are better at masking, or hiding, their symptoms. Even if they struggle to communicate or make friends, this is often not seen because young girls sometimes feel the need to mask themselves.

Due to feeling like they need to act “normal,” some girls don’t receive a diagnosis until late adolescence or even adulthood. Understanding how girls may present their symptoms as opposed to boys can help parents and caregivers to spot the signs earlier — that way they can get the treatment they need.

 

Autism Treatments

There is no cure for ASD but there are plenty of treatment options available. Treatment plans will vary based on the type of help a child needs since some children struggle more in certain areas than others. Children will also react differently to certain treatments and may need a specific approach or combination of techniques in order to receive the best care possible.

Getting treatment can help those with ASD improve their motor skills, their cognitive ability, daily living skills and can help reduce overall symptoms. No matter what your child needs help with, there is a form of treatment that can help. The important thing is getting treatment as early as possible, as very little is known about how to treat teenagers and older adults who received a late diagnosis.

Behavior and Communication Treatments

Behavior and treatment approaches have helped provide vital structure to children with ASD. There are multiple approaches to choose from, so you can find the right fit for your child.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA).

ABA is an incredibly popular method for treating children with ASD and is used by medical professionals and even in schools. This treatment reinforces positive behavior and discourages negative behavior. Data is collected on the child’s behavior and analyzed for improvement. Multiple forms of ABA exist as well and here are just a few:

  • Discrete Trial Training (DTT) sets up a series of trials that the child must follow. These trials give the child step-by-step instructions for a desired behavior or response in a given situation. DTT is made as simple as possible and positive reinforcement is used as the primary motivator. In this situation, negative behaviors are ignored rather than directly discouraged.
  • Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) works best with very young children, at least younger than 5 years old. EIBI is highly structured, which is great for autistic children who desire a very organized routine. This method takes place one-on-one, usually with a professional or experienced individual, and positive behavior is rewarded in hopes to reduce negative behavior.
  • Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is used with children between 1 to 2 years old. This treatment focuses on play as a way to build social, language and cognitive skills which they may otherwise be lacking. This method is practiced in tandem with parents and therapists for the best outcome.
  • Pivotal Response Training (PRT) focuses on increasing a few different skills: the motivation to learn, the ability to monitor and control their own behavior, and the ability to start communication with other people. When done correctly and if the child responds positively to this method, it is thought that PRT can greatly benefit a child’s behavioral development.
  • Verbal Behavior Intervention (VBI) is a method that focuses on and highly encourages teaching verbal skills.

There are many other forms of ABA as well and one may work better for one child than another. Different forms of ABA can also be combined for the best outcome. The other behavior and communication treatments include:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Assistive technology
  • Social skills training
  • Speech therapy

These treatments can be done at the same time as ABA therapy as part of a well-rounded treatment plan, helping your child develop multiple skills at once.

Medications

No medications exist that can cure ASD or treat the main symptoms, but there are medications that can help children improve their overall function. Children with ASD can use medications to help them focus, treat depression or anxiety, or reduce or eliminate seizures.

However, it is important to never start medication until you’ve consulted your doctor. Different prescription drugs will affect people differently and in many cases, finding the right medication may take a bit of trial and error before finding one that works. Always monitor a child when they are taking medication to see if symptoms are improving and how it may be affecting them.

Alternative Medicine

Aside from prescription drugs, other types of complementary or alternative medicines exist for the treatment of ASD. Some parents turn to special diets, supplements or chelation (removal of heavy metals) as a way to relieve symptoms.

Very little evidence exists regarding the effectiveness of these treatments. In fact, some studies have even found some of these treatments, such as chelation, to be doing more harm than good. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is even warning parents against using treatments like chelation since significant health risks exist. Nearly 10 percent of parents are using a dangerous alternative treatment method.

Before moving forward with any treatment, always be sure to check with your doctor to be sure that what you are doing is safe.

Peace of Mind With Early Autism Services

Find a Peace of Mind With Early Autism Services

Being diagnosed with autism at any age can be overwhelming, but the good news is that the condition is manageable and it is completely possible to live a normal life with ASD. There are many options for you so you can tackle this head-on. Early Autism Services works diligently to provide quality therapy to children with autism. We personalize our care to each child and their unique skills so they can get the most out of our program. Whether you’re looking for in-home therapy, center-based therapy or remote therapy, we can help you! Contact us today and request a free consultation!

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Preschool Readiness for Children With Autism  https://earlyautismservices.com/autism-preschool-readiness/ https://earlyautismservices.com/autism-preschool-readiness/#respond Fri, 28 Jan 2022 18:16:20 +0000 https://earlyautismservices.com/?p=6684 The post Preschool Readiness for Children With Autism  appeared first on EAS.

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Preschool Readiness for Children With Autism 

Children with autism succeed in preschool when they develop more awareness of their surroundings, understand how to follow instructions on a basic level and feel ready to comprehend new information. Self-help, behavioral expectations and social awareness are skills that children develop in school in addition to educational topics.

Getting kids with autism ready for school is more successful when parents and therapists use individualized approaches tailored to a child’s current skills and needs. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects each person differently, so children with ASD have differing abilities and strengths that require different therapy approaches. Early intervention can help children develop important skills during their preschool years.

Parents and applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapists can work together to help children prepare for preschool. They can help children with autism develop skills, such as social skills, remaining seated, lining up, making eye contact with classmates and teachers and communicating their needs. Your child can receive ABA therapy at home or in a clinic setting. An ABA therapist can help your child develop basic building blocks that can help them to benefit even more from their other therapies.

Learning how to prepare your child for school can give you the knowledge you need to support their growth and development. You can also do simple and fun activities at home to help your child prepare for preschool. You can use these activities to help your child develop the following skills:

Language and Communication

When children with autism develop functional communication skills, they can communicate their needs effectively. Parents can help their little ones develop functional communication skills by waiting for them to communicate their needs rather than anticipating and meeting their needs for them. This helps children learn to convey their needs through gestures, such as reaching, pointing, eye gazes, verbal attempts and sign language.

Songs and fingerplay activities are fun and engaging ways to build language skills. Simple songs or rhymes encourage children to try repeating words, rhythms, sounds and movements. Fingerplay activities also help children develop fine motor skills. You can sing songs with your child and encourage them to imitate words and movements.

Joint Attention

Joint attention is a skill that children need to interact and cooperate with others. It is the ability to share in an activity or item with another person. Children interact with teachers and peers in preschool, so it’s essential that we help them develop the necessary skills for socialization. A great way to help children develop this skill is to play with them.

Parents and therapists can help children learn joint attention by getting down at eye level with them and actively engaging themselves in an activity or item that the child is engaged with. Giving them one-on-one attention helps them become comfortable interacting with others.

When children develop joint attention, they can focus on an activity with an adult or a peer for an increased time frame and practice taking turns. Parents and therapists can help children practice taking turns by noticing how their child asks for a turn, encouraging them to wait for turns and offering to take turns periodically. Another way parents can help their children is to present them with non-preferred activities to encourage trying new things.

Cognitive Skills

Cognitive Skills

Pre-literacy skills involve focusing on books without necessarily focusing on whole stories. Before starting preschool, therapists and parents can help their children develop pre-literacy skills by helping them practice turning pages, touching pictures, listening to you talk about the book and orienting books to face the pictures in the correct direction.

Motor Skills

Fine motor skills involve the small hand muscles that help children write, draw, fasten clothing and grasp small objects. Parents should help their children practice fine motor skills at home because it will help children write, open their lunch boxes, zip their coats and perform other tasks. Parents and therapists can help children with these skills by implementing activities that involve tweezers or tongs, ripping paper, painting with squeeze bottles or playing with play-doh.

Children can also practice pre-writing strokes, which include circular, horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines. Parents and therapists can combine this activity with sensory exploration by helping children practice pre-writing strokes in shaving cream, play-doh or other fun substances.

Core Skills for Early Skill Development

Based on their skills, some children may benefit more from preschool while others benefit more from center-based ABA therapy. What’s best for your child will depend on their current learning skills. Preschool children need certain foundational learning skills to help them achieve academic success. These school readiness skills include the following:

  • Functional communication: Children thrive in preschool when they are able to use sounds, words, behaviors, and pictures to communicate their feelings, ideas and thoughts to others.
  • Independence: When children are able to complete basic tasks on their own, they will have an easier time learning in a classroom setting.
  • Meaningful play: Playing with toys and materials in a meaningful way helps children to learn through play.
  • Social interaction: Children will be able to build relationships with peers and teachers when they are able to exchange purposeful communication with others.
  • Learner behavior: Learner behavior is an important skill to have because it helps children to stay engaged in the classroom, actively participate in class activities and appropriately respond in a structured setting.
  • Learning through imitation: Children learn by watching others. Verbal and motor imitation skills will help children execute purposeful speech production and motor movement.

Depending on a child’s needs, they may benefit from specialized services in a separate special education program. Others may benefit from specialized support within a general education setting. Therapists, parents and teachers can provide support in childcare and preschool programs. Still, some children need to develop foundational skills through more intensive therapies and interventions before entering into a structured group setting.

Get Support From Early Autism Services

At Early Autism Services, we provide evidence-based, best practice therapy to help children develop skills, such as gross motor, fine motor, communication, behavior planning, social interaction, play, self-help and pre-academic skills. We can individualize treatment based on a child’s current skills and needs. We offer in-home ABA therapy, center-based ABA therapy, speech therapy and other services. Parents can also benefit from free training and virtual events that they can use to learn from and better support their children at home.

Request a free consultation to learn more about how we can help your child develop foundational skills that will help them thrive in preschool. We are passionate about potential, and we are dedicated to helping you and your child learn and grow together.

Get Support From Early Autism Services

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Reinforcement and Punishment https://earlyautismservices.com/reinforcement-punishment/ https://earlyautismservices.com/reinforcement-punishment/#respond Thu, 23 Dec 2021 18:51:27 +0000 https://earlyautismservices.com/?p=6605 The post Reinforcement and Punishment appeared first on EAS.

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Difference Between Reinforcement and Punishment

The first difference between these two terms commonly seen in applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy is that reinforcement increases behavior while punishment decreases behavior.

Some common examples of reinforcement included getting a cookie for good behavior, winning a prize in a race, or getting bubbles after doing chores. In contrast, some examples of punishment include sitting in time out for calling out, getting your phone taken for bad grades, or being reprimanded for bad behavior.

Reinforcement vs. Punishment

As a parent, you may consider whether you should use reinforcement or punishment with your child. Using reinforcement or punishment depends on the individual’s preferences and what motivates them more. It can be helpful to put yourself in the child’s shoes and consider how they might perceive these preferences. For example, as adults, do we find that we are more motivated by bonuses for our hard work or by not getting reprimanded? In this instance, it depends on the person!

Assessing a person’s motivation in instances like these is extremely helpful because it can determine whether reinforcement or punishment would be the most beneficial. You can try either method to see which generates the best response, but ultimately choose whichever one works best for that child.

If you start with reinforcement, it is also beneficial to ensure that the child receives the proper support for their behavior goals. For example, if as an adult, if you were to work 8 hours with a high-five as your reward, this likely isn’t a great enough reinforcer for you to continue to work 8 hours again.

When implementing reinforcement with children, this is very similar to rewarding them for their good behavior. If the reward is motivating enough, the child will be more likely to continue the behavior of interest again.

What to Do When Punishment Does Not Work

Although you can use punishment in ABA, positive reinforcement is the more effective strategy to help increase behaviors. When we use ABA, we want to reinforce behaviors while teaching replacement behaviors for unwanted actions. Teaching replacement behaviors is not a strategy in punishment procedures, which is why certain punishment strategies don’t work!

If the punishment procedure does not work, it would be best to stop since it is most likely not benefitting the person if there is no progress. Instead of using punishment for exhibiting unwanted behaviors, use rewards and praise for performing the correct behaviors. Another alternative if punishment does not work is helping the person de-escalate from the unwanted behavior, including coping techniques such as deep breaths and counting. After this, remind the person, prompt, or coach them through the correct behavior.

Reinforcement vs. Punishment

Is Punishment as Bad as It Sounds?

Although some punishment procedures may appear to be working, such as time-out, scolding or reprimands, they may be harmful to the individual. Sometimes punishment procedures can exclude a person or cause the person to become indifferent towards the person implementing the punishment. Using punishment may decrease the unwanted behavior, but it does not give the person an opportunity to learn new skills or replacement behaviors to use as future tools.

Before considering punishment, it is best to try all other evidence-based strategies such as reinforcement and appropriate replacement behaviors, as punishment can be harmful if implemented incorrectly. Some helpful considerations are to pair positive reinforcement with punishment, use only techniques you know will work, including the person’s considerations if applicable, do not exclude, and always monitor to see if what you are using is working.

Key Tips to Follow When Using Punishment or Reinforcement

After determining a goal behavior for your child, you may decide to try out using punishment or reinforcement to see which one creates a better response. No matter which strategy you use, it’s important to be consistent to help the child maintain or decrease a behavior. Some tips for using these strategies effectively include:

  • If punishment procedures don’t work, try reinforcement!
  • With reinforcement, remember to provide a reward and lots of praise for the behavior of interest.
  • Helping the individual with coping strategies to redirect from the unwanted behavior can be useful.
  • Remind the person of what the behavior should have looked like after the unwanted behavior to help the person correct themselves in the future.

Schedule a Free Consultation at Early Autism Services Today!

At Early Autism Services, we’ve been helping children reach their potential with our applied behavior analysis therapy program for over a decade. One of the many benefits of our services is that we provide various therapy options to best suit your child’s needs. Some therapy options include in-home, center-based, and telehealth therapy. Since our founding, we’ve expanded to open multiple offices across the United States and several locations in Australia and India.

Our knowledgeable team is ready to answer any questions about our programs, costs and insurance. After speaking with our team, if you would like to use our services, the next step will be a free consultation. You and your child will meet with one of our experienced clinicians to discuss your family’s needs and learn more about our programs. Afterward, we will meet again to create a personalized therapy plan to help develop their current skills while learning new ones.

If you’d like to take advantage of our wide range of therapy services, schedule a free consultation today!

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