Yes! You read that right! Although insurance only covers ABA therapy for individuals who have an autism diagnosis, there is a plethora of situations where you can apply ABA techniques to help any of your children, whether there is an Autism diagnosis or not.
One area that I see so many beneficial applications is HOMEWORK. Personally, I have started to take more of an ABA approach when helping one of my children with their homework. The mistake I made was assuming that the whole 7-hour day of school was enough to make her a master of 5th grade knowledge to the point where I can tell her to take out her homework and complete it with 100% accuracy. One day, while watching her at volleyball practice, I came to the realization that this was wrong. I sat there watching as her volleyball coach first introduced the dreaded overhand serve. What I saw was a range of girls able to hit the ball over the net on the first try, to girls who couldn’t even make contact with the ball (this is the group my daughter was in). Sometimes a small amount of instruction works but sometimes a little bit more guidance and instruction is needed for others. What we have to remember is, that is OKAY!
So where am I going with this? Basically, we cannot assume that our kiddos have the skills to complete homework. There is an abundance of literature supporting a method called “errorless learning”. Research states that we should help the student get the answer right with help and then fade out of the help until they are able to get it right independently. Errorless learning should be done with a probe to see where your child is skill-wise, reinforcement in the presence of correct answers (could be anything from verbal praise to high fives or even tickles), and then a plan to fade out of the help. Research shows that children learn much quicker and make less errors when an errorless teaching method is used. Below are some great resources to help you implement errorless teaching in your child’s homework routine.