Nobody wants to hear that their child will struggle more in life than their peers. However, with 1 in 44 children in the United States born with autism, this is a reality for many parents.
Autism is not more common than it used to be. But, there are more rigorous screening processes for children who do not hit their milestones.
The primary treatment for autism is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. However, you may be wondering about the ABA therapy age limit.
Can you start your child on this therapy at any age? How long do they have to be in treatment?
Keep reading to learn more about ABA therapy for autism.
What Is ABA Therapy?
Children born with autism may struggle to communicate and have difficulty with social skills. Differences in their brains that delay development can lead to troublesome behaviors.
ABA is a therapy that focuses on behavior. It has been around since the 1960s for people with developmental disorders. This therapy helps children and adults understand the relationship between their behavior and the environment they live in.
The idea is that the autistic person will learn that certain behaviors lead to a positive response. This can encourage them to curb harmful behaviors.
A major part of ABA therapy centers around positive reinforcement. The patient will get rewards, praise, and other feedback that leads them to change their behaviors.
During ABA therapy, a child will learn basic skills. These are often broken down into tiny steps with many rewards along the way as they improve.
What Are the Benefits of ABA Therapy?
Going through the process of ABA therapy can help your child reduce problematic behaviors.
However, it will also help them learn. This can lead to improved communication and language skills.
ABA therapy also leads to improved focus and memory, which can help children at school. It can also help them get along better with their peers.
Skills are also taught to help them live a normal life. Even basic things such as showering or using the toilet can be more difficult for a child with autism.
Is There an ABA Therapy Age Limit?
It is ideal to start your child on ABA therapy as soon as possible. This will begin to teach them vital skills early, preparing them for school and interacting with other children.
Many children will start this therapy between the ages of 2 and 6 years old. But, there is no reason a child cannot start later. Sometimes, they may only be diagnosed with autism at an older age.
There is still time for ABA therapy to help them learn new social skills and tackle problem behaviors. Most children will undergo intensive ABA therapy for up to 40 hours a week. However, this is usually only necessary for a few years.
They can return at any point or transition to occasional therapy sessions.
There is no upper age limit for ABA therapy, and many adults benefit from this treatment. The only barrier can be the high cost. Not all health insurance plans will cover people over the age of 21.
Autism Therapy at Any Age
Autism is often diagnosed in children. However, this developmental disorder can be challenging long into adulthood. It is best to check with your health insurance to see if they have an ABA therapy age limit.
If you found this article informative, take a look at some of our other blog posts on health and education.