Beyond the B.A.S.I.C.S. Blog

An ABA Therapist’s Commute…

March 2, 2013

On my way to work, at the bus stop, many people ask me,”Where do you work?” And I tell them I work with children with Autism. And then theres that silent “o” that follows. In the back of my head, I end up wondering “do they know what that mean?” But then there was that person who asks “What is autism?” I am glad to tell her that Autism is a term for a group of complex  disorders of the brain. Autism and ASD are characterized in different degrees by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. It can also be associated with disability in motor coordination, attention, and physical health issued such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances.


Then it became Q&A!!!!!!!! “When will you know a child has Autism or ASD?” Autism appears in very early brain development . But the most obvious signs and symptoms of autism tend to show between the ages of 2 and 3years old. “How common is Autism?” Autism is four to five times likely to be among boys than girls. 1 out of 54 boys and 1out of 252 girls are diagnosed with autism in the USA. “What causes Autism?” There is no one cause for Autism just as there is no one type of Autism. A number of rare gene changes and mutations are associated with Autism, a small number of these are known to cause autism by themselves. Autism risk genes and environmental factors are also influence early brain development.


“What increases the risk of Autism?” Risk factors involve events that happen before and during birth. They include advanced parental age at time of conception (both mom and dad), maternal illness during pregnancy, and certain difficulties during birth, particularly those involving periods of oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain. These factors don’t cause Autism  by themselves. There is no one exact cause of Autism. As Autism differs as do the people who have it. “Any ways to reduce the risk?” Researchers suggest that women can reduce the risk of her child having a child with Autism by taking her prenatal vitiates containing frolic acid and/or eating a diet rich in folic acid (at least 600 mcg a day) during the months before and after conception. Though this is only correlational data.


“So what is it you exactly do?” As an ABA therapist I work with children who have Autism. I teach them how to interact with others, social skills, to follow directions, and enjoy life to the fullest. “Well what’s the punishment you use?” We don’t use use “punishment” We use reinforcement, praise and error correction until the student becomes prone and aware of the situation and or response. “What do you do with the aggressive children and the ones that throw tantrums?” We block the aggression and try to avoid tantrums with using break cards when things become a little intense with the student. “Why do you keep saying “student”. Because that’s what they are. Every one dooesn’t learn at the same speed, some take a little longer to understand than others but at the end of the day you become a student that learns something new everyday. “How do I enroll my grand child?” You can got to and either email Saundra Bishop or call her direct number. “Thank you for the help and understanding of Autism.” Your welcome!….. And of course by this time I’ve already missed my stop.

Tierra Thornton Hardy, ABA Therapist


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