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10 Tips for Traveling With an Autistic Child

10 Tips for Traveling With an Autistic ChildIt will come as no surprise that traveling with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be challenging in the same way that any kind of social outings can be difficult. But there are some tips that can help you.

  1. If your child is already in a program with us, let us know about your travel plans. Our programs are individually tailored to each child. If you have some special travel plans coming up, we can work with your child to help him or her prepare. We can also give you, the parent, activities, and exercises to do at home to help the child get ready for the trip.
  2. Role play at home. If possible, do some role-playing at home to show the child what he or she can expect in a plane or train or long car ride. Talk about what the child will see and hear and experience to defuse any anxiety.
  3. Take something soothing. Try to bring something for the child that is soothing, whatever that is. A stuffed animal or blanket or a toy. Have something available to quiet the over-stimulated child.
  4. Appeal to your child’s special interests. Consider bringing along something new that you know your child will like.
  5. Bring earplugs or headphones for the sound-sensitive child. If your child is very sensitive to noise, then an airport or a crowded ferry terminal can be a scary place. Earplugs or headphones are an easy way to dull ambient noise.
  6. Prepare for meals in advance. If your child is fussy about food, then take food with you rather than rely on what you may or may not find during the trip. Any child is irritable if the child is hungry or thirsty, so try to take that worry out of the equation.
  7. Increase safety precautions. Wandering off or “elopement” is a problem for about half of the children with ASD, and this problem is magnified when the child is no longer familiar with the surroundings. So, if you travel, have the child wear a medic alert bracelet with his or her name and contact information and/or have that information affixed inside their clothing in case the child is separated from you.
  8. Plan trips to appeal to the child. While this is not always possible, if it is possible, then the trip may be happier for everyone. If the child likes water, take him or her to the beach. If the child likes airplanes or rockets, take the child to an air or space museum. This sounds so simple, but not all parents seriously consider what best suits the child on a trip or a vacation.
  9. Keep daily routines even when away. Everyone young and old benefits from a daily routine. And this is even more important for an autistic child. Whenever possible try to follow your at-home routines even when you are away. This predictability reduces stress and anxiety and helps the child feel more in control.
  10. Arrange things in advance. Figure out your schedule and hotel stops in advance, and ask for help if you need it. Airports and hotels have guest services that can lend a hand.

Traveling with an autistic child requires some preparation, but it will be easier if you plan ahead. Use some of our tips, and see how much better your next trip goes.

Applied Behavior Analysis helps to extinguish undesirable behaviors and reinforce desirable ones. ABA can improve your child’s toileting behaviors, eating behaviors, speech, and sleeping routines. ABA can be life changing for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. If you are trying to decide how to handle a child with ASD or what type of therapy is most appropriate for your child, please contact us today.

Let us help you. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at info@totalspectrumcare.com. We are based in Elmhurst, Illinois.

What Is Reinforcement and Why Is It Important in ABA?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the only treatment that has been shown in research for many years to be the most effective therapeutic intervention to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Applied Behavior Analysis uses the science of learning and positive reinforcement to bring about meaningful changes in behavior.

So what exactly is “reinforcement”?

In order to understand reinforcement, first we have to look the “Law of Effect” in Behavioral Psychology. The Law of Effect means basically that if an action or event is followed by satisfaction for the individual or animal, that action or event becomes more closely tied to the individual (or animal) and more likely to reoccur. Also, if an action or event is followed by discomfort for the individual or animal, that action or event is less likely to reoccur.

So, in Applied Behavior Analysis, reinforcement is what happens in the environment to make desired behaviors in the autistic child pleasant and more likely to happen again. These environmental stimuli are the basis of learning in what’s called Operant Conditioning in psychology.

Why is reinforcement important in ABA?

Reinforcement in the very basis of Applied Behavior Analysis. By analyzing each individual child’s needs and tailoring a program specific for that child, we can use these principles of psychology to help the child learn new and desirable behaviors to better cope with the world we live in.

Following the tenets of psychology such as Operant Conditioning, the Law of Effect, and reinforcement, we make learning new things pleasant and fun for the child. These same theories also make it possible to extinguish undesirable behaviors. This is why ABA works and has been shown to work in research. It’s actually pretty simple: show the child what behaviors you want, make it a pleasant experience (or “reinforce” the behavior,) and the child will learn the behavior.

ABA can be life changing for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. ABA can improve your child’s toileting behaviors, eating behaviors, speech, and sleeping routines. If you are trying to decide how to handle a child with ASD or what type of therapy is most appropriate for your child, please contact us today.

Let us help you. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at info@totalspectrumcare.com. We are based in Elmhurst, Illinois.

What to Expect When Your Child Begins ABA Therapy

What to Expect When Your Child Begins ABA Therapy As you know, ABA or Applied Behavior Analysis therapy has a long history and is the only therapy shown to work in controlled scientific research for children with ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder.

But if you’re new to ABA, you may not know what to expect. Here are some quick guidelines to prepare you and your child for ABA therapy.

  1. Insurance. First, your insurance provider will need to be contacted to find out if they will cover ABA therapy. Most insurers cover ABA for children with ASD.
  2. Assessment. Your child will have an assessment to determine their strengths and weaknesses. To help your child, we need to know what they’re good at, and what is lacking. We will also need to talk to you about specific issues or problems or triggers that you’re dealing with.
  3. Integration. Depending on what—if any—other therapies your child is undergoing, we may want to talk to some of those professionals to help the different therapies work together. This would be with your permission, of course.
  4. Balking. Since routine is typically very important to children with ASD, any change in routine, including the addition of ABA can be a disruption and some behavior may worsen temporarily. We can help your child, and soon the child will be actively participating in new and welcome behaviors.
  5. Training the parent. We are going to discuss with you at length how to continue ABA therapy at home between sessions and help you cope with challenges as they arise. Soon the world of ABA therapy will be second nature for you.

Applied Behavior Analysis helps to extinguish undesirable behaviors and reinforce desirable ones. ABA can improve your child’s toileting behaviors, eating behaviors, speech, and sleeping routines. ABA can be life changing for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. If you are trying to decide how to handle a child with ASD or what type of therapy is most appropriate for your child, please contact us today.

Let us help you. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at info@totalspectrumcare.com. We are based in Elmhurst, Illinois.

6 Common Misconceptions About ABA Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

ABA is Applied Behavior Analysis, a method of systematically bringing about positive behavioral changes in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ABA is currently the only therapy that has been shown in scientific research to work.

When parents have a child with ASD, they are often overwhelmed with all the information available on the internet and choosing what is best for their child. ABA therapy has been around for many years, yet often people don’t know exactly what it is.

There are many common misconceptions about ABA therapy. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  1. “ABA is experimental”. Not so! It’s the only therapy recommended by the US Surgeon General and has been shown in research to work for over 30 years.
  2. “ABA doesn’t work with older children”. ABA works with children of all ages. Sometimes results take longer with older children, but that’s true of any kind of learning.
  3. “ABA relies too much on food rewards”. In ABA therapy, all different types of rewards are used depending on each child. Some children are more food-motivated than others. Treatment and therapy are always tailored to the individual case.
  4. “With ABA, children hear NO all the time”. Not at all. ABA uses positive reinforcement, and the program is designed to help the child be successful and build on success.
  5. “ABA is a new therapy”. ABA has been around since 1950 and has been shown to work since the 1970s.
  6. “ABA therapy requires a 40-hour per week treatment plan”. As we’ve said already, ABA therapy is personalized for every child. The time required depends on the needs of the individual child.

Applied Behavior Analysis helps to extinguish undesirable behaviors and reinforce desirable ones. ABA can improve your child’s toileting behaviors, eating behaviors, speech, and sleeping routines. ABA can be life changing for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. If you are trying to decide how to handle a child with ASD or what type of therapy is most appropriate for your child, please contact us today.

Let us help you. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at info@totalspectrumcare.com. We are based in Elmhurst, Illinois.

Why Routine is Important to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum DisorderRoutine is a good thing. There is recent research that we could all benefit from having a routine and a regular rhythm in our lives. But routine is especially important for children with autism. Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Order From Chaos. Many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder live in a world of chaos. These children have difficulty making sense of everyday movements, sounds, and actions. What sounds like a symphony to you may sound like white noise to the ASD child. Routine creates order in their lives. These children gradually learn what to expect and when to expect it. Routine creates a safe and secure environment in which life is predictable.
  2. Routine Comes Naturally. Children with ASD naturally tend to like repetitive actions. You often will notice them creating repetition themselves. In fact, repetition in behavior can be one of the signs of autism. Routine comes naturally to them, and it’s not hard for them to learn a productive routine in the place of an unproductive one.
  3. Stress Relief. Routine is known to relieve stress is almost all individuals. The child with ASD has a particularly stressful life as he or she tries to make sense of his or her surroundings. Adding routine will relieve the child’s stress.
  4. Routine Adds to the Learning Potential. Once you can relieve the child’s stress, then it’s much easier to help the child learn new things. New habits. New skills. New accomplishments. Routine is a powerful learning tool in the ASD environment.

We have many arrows in our quiver for treating children with Autism Spectrum Disorder with Applied Behavior Analysis. Routine is one of our tools and is central to our philosophy. Once you see how well your autistic child can learn routines, you will understand that the child’s learning potential is probably much higher than you may realize. Your child will be happier when he learns, makes progress, and achieves goals, and we can show you how to help this to happen.

Let us help you. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at info@totalspectrumcare.com. We are based in Elmhurst, Illinois.

5 Benefits of Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy for Children

ABA therapy for childrenOur company offers Applied Behavior Analysis—often called ABA—therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. There are lots of benefits of ABA therapy, and we’re going to list five of them for you.

1.ABA therapy works. Applied Behavior Analysis therapy is the gold standard for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. There is more scientific evidence supporting the implementation of ABA than any other type of treatment.

2. ABA helps children make friends. ABA teaches children the social skills that many with Autism Spectrum Disorder are lacking. These are the same social skills that children need to make friends.

3. ABA helps children to live and cope in our world. Learning something as simple yet important as using the bathroom is critical for daily function in our society. ABA can teach the child toileting skills.

4. ABA helps parents be better parents. ABA will teach parents how to interact with their child and teaches the child how to interact with others. Parenting a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder is very difficult. We can help you to parent more effectively.

5. ABA allows parents to have higher expectations. ABA is so effective that some children will lose their Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. More importantly, ABA will show the parents and the child that the child can achieve all kinds of things that were thought impossible before the start of therapy. Higher expectations help the child achieve more and help both parents and children to have lofty goals.

The biggest argument against using ABA therapy is to let the child be “who the child is.” This is not unlike the argument against cochlear implants for children who are deaf. The problem with this argument is that the rest of the world is not on the autism spectrum. If a child is going to live in a world with the rest of us, then the child needs to learn how to cope in the everyday world. ABA is the most effective way to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to live in our world.

Let us help you. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and our services are outlined here. We encourage you to call us directly, toll-free, at (844) 263-1613 or email us at info@totalspectrumcare.com.

Events

30th Annual Autism Society Conference

Developmental Differences Resource Fair

Peoria March Madness Experience Special Needs Fair

Navigating Autism Today Conference

Midwestern Behavior Analysis Job Fair

Registration now open through Jan. 18, 2019. Registration will also be available the day of the event. This event is free and open to the public, though registration is required. Registration will include light snacks and beverages. Job seekers should register by Jan. 18, 2019 in order to guarantee a printed name badge.

Most companies attending will primarily be looking to hire behavior technicians/RBTs or BCBAs. It is recommended that applicants dress in professional attire and bring copies of their resume to provide to employers. Career and Student Employment Services offers services in preparing resumes, mock interviews, practicing salary negotiations, and more.