Have you ever heard the phrase, “Play is the work of children?” We agree that children’s lives should be full of play and fun. At Acuity Behavior Solutions, we make our ABA Applied Behavior Analysis therapy fun by teaching through play whenever possible.
Play is important for development and increases many skills including learning outcomes and processes, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. At Acuity Behavior Solutions, we strive to find the activities most engaging for your child, and to teach using those activities.
Play during ABA therapy means the child is having fun AND learning! Imagine a child playing a board game with the ABA therapist, and while they play, the therapist is teaching conversational skills, including how to start a conversation, how to answer questions, how to ask appropriate questions, and how to transition to a new topic. It may sound too fun to be true! Our kids LOVE the play based therapy and respond very well to it.
You might wonder – Is play based therapy effective? The answer is that it absolutely is effective. We have had hundreds of children who have improved their skills through play-based therapy. A vast majority of skills are able to be taught during and through play, which makes therapy fun, engaging, and interesting for the child.
Children who have engaged in our play-based therapy tell us how much they love playing with the staff at Acuity Behavior Solutions. Commonly, children will ask us, “Can you stay for one more game?” or “When are you coming back?” We have even heard children say, “I love my ABA therapist.” Our goal is for your child to enjoy therapy. While there may be some difficulties and tantrums occasionally, we see lots of play-based therapy as making a huge difference in the child’s willingness to participate.
Play-based therapy allows for more therapeutic time, because the therapy is so fun! This allows us to teach more skills and engage with the child for longer. This can ultimately lead to faster learning of skills. We don’t sit at a table doing flashcards for 4 hours, but instead, we are playing and teaching through play. This makes the child more willing to participate. It reduces their desire to tantrum and engage in inappropriate behavior, which frees up more time to teach through fun play! Play-based ABA therapy keeps the child interested, so that while we teach and prompt new skills, they are paying attention!
Sometimes, parents are concerned that ABA will teach a child to respond in a robotic way. While a child may respond in a robotic manner at first when they are learning a new skill, this is not what their behavior should look like at the end of ABA therapy. If a child has robotic behavior, we would consider their skills as emerging, and would recommend more therapy to make the skills they have learned appear more natural and fluid. A great example of this is when you learn a new language, you may sound stilted at first, as you start learning it.
Over time, you might sound more fluent. ABA will maximize a child’s ability to express their own personality and preferences by teaching them the skills they need to communicate, play, and otherwise enjoy life…by teaching through play.