Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is an effective intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder. Depending on specific concerns, a combination of ABA and other services can be ideal to help children and adults achieve meaningful goals. Other services that might be obtained as a supporting service to ABA include speech therapy, occupational therapy, and medical services. Other less common services such as nutritional coaching, recreational therapy, and music therapy can also provide valuable support.
Enhancement of ABA Benefits with Collaboration
By accessing applied behavior analysis (ABA) services and other supporting services, like speech or occupational therapy, children can have the expertise of ABA professionals who are experienced with behavior-change interventions as well as the expertise of other professionals who may have more advanced training in things like speech or motor skills development and other specialty areas.
Let’s explore some of the purposes of supporting services that recipients of ABA services might also benefit from as an additional method of reaching meaningful goals for improving their overall quality of life.
1. Speech Therapy
Speech therapy is a service that helps people communicate in more effective ways. Speech therapy can help individuals develop the ability to communicate with others as well as improve how they use their communication skills in relationships and in their daily interactions with other people. Speech therapists have specialized training in how speech sounds are made with the mouth, how muscles are used in speech production, and understand typical speech development.
2. Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy is a service that aims to support the rehabilitation of skills required for functioning in daily life. Occupational therapists help people who may have had a traumatic injury or who have a disability or a developmental delay that impairs their functioning in everyday activities such as the ability to successfully complete tasks expected at work, school, in the community, or in everyday life at home. Some things they might work on include fine motor skills, gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and self-care skills like bathing, handwashing, and tying shoes.
3. Medical Services
It is important to consider any medical causes or factors that could influence a person’s behavior. ABA therapists can collaborate with parents to obtain background and current medical conditions or concerns that a client may experience. This can help everyone involved better understand behaviors being addressed in treatment services. For example, if a child has diabetes, their blood sugar issues could impact their behaviors. If a child has a sleep disorder, this could also impact behaviors during the day.
4. Nutritional Coaching or Feeding Therapy
Poor nutrition can have a negative impact on behavior and mental health. As a result, nutritional coaching may be a helpful supportive service in addition to receiving ABA services. Feeding therapy can help people learn about making healthy food choices, and making dietary changes in ways that are sustainable for the individual receiving services.
5. Recreational Therapy
Recreational therapy, also known as therapeutic recreation, is a service that uses recreation-based or leisure-type activities to treat specific conditions. Recreational therapists use activities like games, movement, dance, art, sports, and related activities to improve physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and mental functioning.
6. Music Therapy
Music therapy is a service that uses music in a therapeutic way to support a person’s functioning. Music therapists focus on helping people improve functioning in many domains such as in their social lives, their emotional well-being, their mental health, and their physical development.
ABA & Supporting Services
ABA (applied behavior analysis) is an effective intervention. ABA, in combination with other services, can also be very beneficial. Professionals from different disciplines can bring together their specialized knowledge and expertise to help people improve their quality of life in ways that are meaningful to them.
As a review, we discussed some of the supporting services that people might use in addition to receiving ABA services. These supporting services include:
- Speech therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Medical services
- Nutritional coaching
- Recreational therapy
- Music therapy
These are just some examples of supporting services that might be accessed in addition to receiving ABA services. Depending on your child’s needs, they might need one or a combination of supplemental services. Focus on building a treatment package and plan that is right for your child.