Only recently have I started studying and practicing ABA as part of my job as a behavior aide. At the end of just over a month of working with clients, it is clear to see the benefit of ABA in these children’s lives, beyond what can simply be measured with data collection.
My first day working as a behavior aide, I was observing a remote session. I found it brilliant how the aide running session maintained a fun environment while performing these activities to reach the child’s goals. Through the encouragement and reassurance of the aide, the student soared through their goals and had a great time doing it. At the end of a good session, getting to see a child proud of themselves of the progress they have made is indescribable.
ABA is not about the aides doing the work for the client, it is about the client doing the work and making the progress themselves. This leads to the proper pride and achievement children feel when they know they have done a good job and are completely responsible for it; recognizing one’s own achievements is a skill that is beyond helpful throughout life beyond behavior therapy. In ABA all progress is progress no matter how seemingly insignificant, the smallest steps in a positive direction can make the biggest changes.
Seeing a child progress from being shy and avoiding saying “Hello” to people, to excitedly greeting someone when they see them may seem small. However, the quality of having this skill can be applied to every social instance in a person’s life. The seemingly simple act of saying “Hello” could be the missing step for a child for them to socially interact with their peers or others in their life. These small steps are seen as huge victories to aides, and we celebrate our clients accordingly for every single step; having the opportunity to play a small part in a child’s ability to be social is an outstanding honor and we like to make sure our clients know it.
To me ABA is about far more than the job I hold. It is about the extraordinary opportunity to bear witness to children obtaining lasting skills and making progress that will benefit them for the rest of their lives, there is no other honor like it. Through the work that they do, children open up an entirely new world of opportunities for themselves that previously may not have even seemed possible. The worth of having that knowledge is immeasurable.