ABA: Treating children with autism with ABA

ABA is a treatment method for children with autism. It teaches children to enjoy many things again, but above all it teaches them to structure everyday matters. Instructing ABA does take some time, because the behavior that the child has always used must be changed. ABA comes in different forms, both at home and at school

Applied Behavior Analysis: applied behavior analysis in autism

Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA (in Dutch applied behavior analysis) is a method to treat autism in children. The method was developed in the US in the 1960s. The method involves very intensive guidance of children with autism. Behavior is adjusted step by step. ABA is relatively unknown in the Netherlands, but Jennifer Niemeijer from Bitgummole in Friesland has set up an expertise center after she followed an intensive training program in the method in the US. Today she runs the ABA Expertise Center and employs 15 different therapists, teachers and practitioners. There are more ABA centers in the Netherlands that teach the method.

Method focused on a strict structure

ABA focuses on learning a fixed structure. Once a child has mastered something well, it is reduced again, so that they can function independently in that area without that very strict structure. The progress of the children is monitored. If there is not sufficient progress, the method will be adjusted.

Stimulating developmental delays

ABA is for children with developmental delays such as autism. ABA focuses on the development of communication, self-reliance, play and social skills and (pre)school skills. The method first provides insight into how far the child has progressed and where the problems lie. Based on this, a plan is made and the goals are described and how those goals can be achieved. Everything happens in small steps. The method is structured in such a way that skills can be used in different situations and not just in a specific situation. The goal of ABA is to help a child lead as independent a life as possible. .

One on one guidance

The guidance is not only very strict and focused on learning a fixed structure, the guidance is also one-on-one. Children are also addressed about the things they can do, their possibilities. Where other children are guided with punishments, this does not happen with ABA, because this would not work for children with autism. They are rewarded with things that they enjoy.

Who is the ABA method for?

ABA can be used for children with:

  1. autism, autism
  2. a (serious) developmental delay
  3. a language development disorder


Not without obligation: ABA takes a lot of time

The ABA method is aimed at the longer term and must teach children to approach things differently. It takes time. A lot of time. There are also forms of guidance for the home situation, for school and for childcare.

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