What makes early intervention programs “worth it”?
– By Courtney Kuchan, BCBA & Tony Russo, BCBA
Although there is no known cure for Autism, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy can significantly help to offset many of its accompanying symptoms. The benefits of beginning a structured ABA program as early as possible are directly related to how quickly your child makes meaningful, lasting progress in the areas within which they are currently struggling.

Some common areas that a comprehensive ABA therapy plan focuses on include functional communication, independence with eating / toileting, expressive and receptive language, emotional regulation, flexibility with routines, sustained attention, and turn-taking.

What are some examples of before & after success stories from early intervention?

One amazing example of a success story was our work with a 6yr old client named ‘Joey’ who was diagnosed with Autism. Our team worked tirelessly to incentive Joey to become more independent with hygiene tasks, increase his functional speech, and not only remain at the table but also use silverware while eating. Joey’s baseline included tantrums – screaming, throwing things, falling to the floor, and hitting other people – which occurred when his parents asked him to participate in an activity he essentially “didn’t want to do”.

Another area Joey really struggled in was excessive iPad use. In fact, many of his worst tantrums came after being told that the iPad was not available. Through an intensive initial intervention focused on teaching joey to communicate his wants/needs in a less-destructive manner, and subsequently rewarding him for doing so, we found immediate success.

Our team introduced an incentive system whereby Joey would earn stickers for the absence of maladaptive behaviors, and a certain number of stickers would allow him access to his iPad. We also incorporated an assistive communication device while teaching simple vocalizations such that Joey was able to communicate through both mediums if he was struggling with one or the other. Joey’s ABA sessions went from 4x/week for 3hrs each down to one 2hr session once weekly to make sure he retained these essential skills and ensure his parents felt supported in continuing his programs in our absence.

What makes early intervention programs “worth it”?

Our mission is centered on allowing children living with ASD to experience the best possible life they can; whether during downtime at home, as they interact with peers at school, or even just in the car on a busy Saturday afternoon as you run errands. The time commitment may at first seem like a challenge, but it is also an opportunity to build on essential skills that will benefit your son or daughter for the rest of their lives. Like any new skill, the sooner that the targets of an ABA program are introduced, the easier they will be for your child to learn.

Our team will create a comprehensive treatment plan based on ongoing assessments, thus empowering you as the parents to make informed decisions about the length of our therapeutic relationship. LifeSpeed recognizes that every child is unique, and different families will inevitably have different objectives, so our commitment is to blend the science of ABA with a personalized approach to care for each child we support.

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