ABA Therapy is an effective method for treating individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), because the therapy concepts and activities are incorporated into everyday life for the person receiving treatment. As a parent or guardian of a child with ASD, you are encouraged to use at-home ABA Therapy activities with your child.
Below are some different activities that you can try, which are a great way to connect with your little one.
If your child struggles with understanding basic emotions and expressions, using an emotions game can help you teach your child how to identify facial expressions and their corresponding emotions. Using repetition with this game can help solidify the knowledge of specific emotions and improve their ability to identify different feelings and emotions. Along with games, there are many books that are wonderful tools for helping to teach your child about emotions. Reading with your child is a great way to build communication and walk through different scenarios. Check out our previous article, “Tips for Reading with Your Child with Autism.”
If you have a child with autism who is learning his/her colors, there are plenty of at-home objects that you can use to work with your little one to increase their knowledge of colors. You’ll find that using some of your child’s favorite toys can be the best route for teaching colors. For example, grab a solid color toy that they have. Have your child touch the toy and say the color that the toy is. As you say the color, touch that specific color on a flashcard. You can slowly add colors to this activity. Eventually, you can ask your child to match the flashcard to the corresponding toy.
Painting in Small Steps
Breaking tasks into small, attainable steps is key to teaching your child how to work through different activities. Some children with ASD have a difficult time touching certain textures. Using “art time” as an exploratory time to work through some of these challenges can be highly effective. If your child struggles with touching new textures, try to increase his/her tolerance to these stimuli by slowly having him/her touch paint with one finger (or whatever texture they struggle with). You can quickly wipe off the paint. The next time they touch the paint, at a later date, they can have the paint on their finger for a longer period of time. They can then press the paint to paper. Over time you can increase how many fingers they are dipping into the paint and how much they are painting on the paper. Their artwork will serve as a positive outcome of their behavior, and they can visually see their work.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Using positive reinforcement is a great way to promote desired behaviors from your child. We suggest using visual charts that show your child the item that they are working towards, like a trip to the ice cream shop or a special game. You can place stars or colorful markers in squares leading up to that item. When your child does a desired behavior, like brushing his/her teeth before bed, you can add a star to their chart. This type of positive reinforcement gives your child an opportunity to see how his/her “good” behavior can lead to other positive things.
Hidden Treasures offers ABA therapy services that are tailored to your child’s distinct needs. We provide support and therapy services for parents of autism and children with ASD. Contact our team TODAY, and join our community of compassionate and dedicated professionals.