After your child has been diagnosed with autism and referred for ABA therapy, you may be wondering what comes next. This process can be overwhelming for parents, especially those who have not yet had experience in ABA therapy. It is important that your child is prepared for their first therapy session. They will have to adjust to a new environment, unfamiliar faces, and a new routine. Here are some helpful tips to ensure your child will have a successful first ABA session.
Discuss Your Child’s Needs
The goal of ABA therapy is to make life easier for children with special needs and their families. Your ABA therapist will ask you about your child’s needs, preferences, learning styles, and other aspects to help them develop a plan. Be sure to provide any extra information you think will help foster a more positive experience for your child. Additionally, do not forget to discuss the bathroom situation if your child is uncomfortable using unfamiliar bathrooms. By communicating these needs to your child’s ABA therapist, they can make sure that any preferred items and activities are readily available for your child.
Create a Social Story for Therapy
Going to a new therapist for the first time can be a stressful experience for many kids with autism. A social story can be an excellent way to describe the environment your child will experience, tell them about the people they will meet and the activities they will do, and what may be expected of them. This type of encouragement facilitates positive expectations and goals for ABA therapy.
The first day of therapy can be long, especially for young children. When preparing your child for their first session, be sure to bring all the things they may need throughout the day. It is a good idea to pack their bookbag with snacks, a change of clothes, water, and any special toys or fidgets. Your child may have a special toy that is particularly reassuring for them. Allowing them to bring it in, show it to the therapist, and perhaps even use it as a transition item or reward in session can help make a new situation feel much more comforting and familiar to your child.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Involved
A therapist can only do so much for your child. It is important that you continue assisting your child in developing the skills learned in ABA therapy. Discuss with the therapist different ways you can help your child at home to reinforce the learning. By actively participating in your child’s therapy, you can also learn valuable skills and strategies.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.