ABA is a proven and highly successful early intervention within young children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Read how ABA helped Louis prepare for mainstream school below
Always dressed to impress, Louis is a happy, bubbly five year old with blonde hair and a love of all things that go up. He lives with mum, dad and his younger brother, and often sees Nan who lives nearby. Now within a mainstream school, Louis received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) when he was in nursery. Mum was aware of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) having seen it in practice with another child, and approached Beam to create a specific early intervention programme to suit Louis’s needs.
“It’s been extremely helpful to have the programme span home and school as the team know us as a family and Louis sees them as friends when they come into school.”
“Working with Louis whilst he was at nursery meant we were able to build skills and increase functional language knowing what he would need when he moved up to primary school” says his Beam supervisor. Activities such as circle time presented opportunities to build time spent on a task and manage behaviours within a social setting. Louis tended to use one word utterances and non-communicative sounds such as screaming and whining to express his wants and needs.
The Beam supervisor and behaviour support therapists (BSTs) prompted Louis to build single words into sentences and use language to express his feelings. This early intervention helped to reduce disruptive behaviour and allowed him to communicate with new people, such as teachers and support workers at school. Once he started school there were new challenges which could be integrated into the ABA programme. “The hand dryer in the boys’ toilet really frightened Louis and he didn’t want to use the bathroom because of it,” illustrates his supervisor. “Using reinforcement and gradual desensitisation Louis became less fearful. He is now happy to visit the toilet and even smiles when he hears the hand dryer.”
“Louis enjoys his ABA sessions and has really bonded with the Beam staff,” says Mum. “It’s been extremely helpful to have the programme span home and school as the team know us as a family and Louis sees them as friends when they come into school.” Home sessions focus on self-help and building communication skills, and school sessions look to support academic learning and social skills.
“It’s a team effort,” continues Mum, “and we all work brilliantly together. Louis’ Dad and I always want to learn new strategies and techniques but sometimes we just want to be parents. The Beam sessions allow us that time as we know Louis is happy and making progress. And, we have the added benefit of having a professional on-hand to ask advice so we don’t feel left alone to get on with things. The team are a wonderful support for Louis and for us as a family.”