What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a severely incapacitating, life-long, developmental disorder. It affects how the person perceives and interprets their world, particularly the social environment.
Autism Spectrum Disorder affects one’s ability to:
- Understand and use language
- Interact socially with people and make sense of the environment
- Develop and use imagination
- The condition is also associated with obsessive and repetitive behaviours, sensory distortion and extreme sensitivity eg to light, noise and touch.
For reasons unknown, the prevalence of autism is increasing at an alarming rate. In Australia, 2 to 3 children are being diagnosed with autism every day.
In NSW alone, there are 60,000 people with autism and of these, 15,000 are children.
To date, there is no medical cure for autism. The only scientifically proven method of improving autistic children’s academic, social and emotional outcome is Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA).
What is Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)?
Behaviour Analysis is a scientific approach to understanding behaviour. ABA is the use of behaviour analytic methods and research findings to change important behaviours in meaningful ways. Using ABA methodology to teach children with autism provides an intense, highly structured education. Each child has an program to address and build on identified skills and deficits. Small segments of learning gradually build up into an understood and meaningful “whole”. Gradually, children learn to focus their attention, to concentrate more effectively and thus to learn more easily.
ABA has been thoroughly researched and proven effective. No other therapeutic method has such authoritative research to demonstrate its effectiveness.
ABA is the only method of teaching that is scientifically proven to improve cognitive, communication, adaptive and social skills in young children with autism.
It enhances appropriate and useful behaviours, and reduces problematic ones.
It is statistically based with emphasis being on measurable goals and reliable data collection, which substantiates the progress of the child.
Employing this method, children with autism are actively taught. For example, how to pay attention, imitate, use communicative language, show and receive affection, how to learn in a group, and relate to other children – things that most typical children do not formally need to be taught. Even spontaneity can be taught!