• Supporting Your Child’s Social Skills Development

    Autism can sometimes interfere with a child’s ability to make friends and feel comfortable interacting with others. Every child deserves to feel confident in social situations, as social interactions and emotional wellness are closely intertwined. With plenty of patience and persistence—and the help of autism therapy —parents can help their children develop strong social skills.

    Modeling Social Behavior

    Children are natural sponges—they learn by observing what other people do. However, children with autism often require some explanations of why people do and say certain things. After you model appropriate social behavior during an interaction with someone, you can help your child understand what happened. Hypothetically, you’re in a checkout lane at the supermarket with your child. The cashier compliments your earrings. You’ll probably smile, say “Thank you,” and then compliment the cashier’s necklace. Afterward, you can tell your child that smiling and thanking the cashier was a polite thing to do. Giving the cashier a compliment in return helped the cashier feel good about herself.

    Using Social Stories

    Talk to your child’s ABA therapist about using social stories. These stories depict people in specific social situations. They also explain what to do in these situations. For instance, a social story might depict a child playing by himself, with two other children nearby. The solo child could approach the two friends to ask if he can join in on their activity.

    Using Roleplay

    Roleplay is a fun way for your child to practice the skills he or she learns in ABA therapy. It can also help your child learn to perceive scenarios from the viewpoints of other people. Some scenarios to roleplay could include how to respond when asked to share a toy, how to raise a hand in a classroom to get the teacher’s attention, and how to use an indoor voice in the library.

    The Behavior Exchange invites parents to explore the social skills groups available at our ABA school in the DFW area. We maintain a positive, supportive environment, where children can build strong friendships and develop self-confidence. Get in touch at (888) 716-8084.

  • Facilitating Sibling Relationships When One Child Has Autism

    Since children with autism require plenty of their parents’ time and attention, siblings often feel left out. Siblings can be affected by conflicting emotions—they may feel protective of their brother or sister, but also jealous that the child with autism is getting most of the attention. To build strong relationships, siblings need some one-on-one time with a parent. By putting the focus on the sibling, and making him or her feel special, the sibling will be less likely to feel resentful of the child with autism.

    An ABA therapist can help siblings understand why children with autism act the way they do. Therapists and parents can also help siblings learn how to play and interact with each other, as children with autism often need extra help to acquire play skills.

    At The Behavior Exchange, we understand that siblings can have trouble coping with the symptoms of autism. Give us a call at (888) 716-8084, and an ABA therapist near Plano will discuss how we can help balance the family dynamic .

  • FAQs About Our Parent Training Services

    The Behavior Exchange is an autism therapy provider that only uses evidence-based techniques to help children overcome social, behavioral, and academic obstacles. Our therapists use Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) techniques, which have been proven effective through years of research. Since ABA therapy is most effective when the techniques are applied consistently, we offer parent training services to help families learn how to support their children in everyday life.

    How important is parent training?

    Behavior analysts have observed that a child’s progress can be positively influenced by the parents’ involvement in ABA techniques. The ABA therapist can effectively teach the child a new skill during a session. But if that skill isn’t reinforced at home, school, and around the community, the child’s progress can be limited. The child may only use the skill in the presence of the therapist, but not at home.

    What can parents expect from training sessions?

    Since every family is unique, parent training can be a little different for everyone. In general, an ABA therapist can help parents learn how to structure the home environment in a way that facilitates desirable behaviors. Parent training sessions can cover establishing household rules, consistently enforcing those rules, and using positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior .

    How can parents get the most benefit from parent training sessions?

    The willingness to learn, and to try the therapist’s recommendations are crucial for every family’s success. Additionally, therapists can help families best when they have a firm understanding of the family dynamic. Parents should keep notes during the week of the challenges they experience and the ways they responded to their child. This enables the ABA therapist to customize the parent training sessions and one-on-one time with the child to meet the family’s specific needs.

    If you have any other questions about our services, please get in touch at (888) 716-8084 . We encourage parents to become acquainted with our social skills groups and one-on-one ABA therapy sessions in Plano. The Behavior Exchange looks forward to helping your child reach his or her full potential.

  • Tips for Working with Your Child’s Teacher on a Behavior Plan

    When your child with autism goes to school, working closely with his or her teacher on a behavior plan can be an important factor in his or her success. By making your child’s teacher a partner, you can ensure that your child’s experience at school is as positive as possible. Starting the conversation about your child’s needs with his or her teacher is not always easy, but these tips will help establish a good working relationship so you can create a mutually beneficial school behavior plan .

    Open the Door for Communication

    Sometimes, parents send their children into school without providing any information to teachers because they do not want their children to be singled out. In reality, the teacher can’t give your child the support he or she needs without being armed with all of the necessary information. Reach out to your child’s teacher as soon as possible to provide him or her with information about your child that he or she may need. Be upfront, honest, and direct, and tell the teacher that you want an open dialogue. Encourage your child’s teacher to communicate with you frequently about things that happen in the classroom, and do the same when new information that is relevant to your child’s life at school emerges.

    Get It in Writing

    It will be helpful to both you and your child’s teacher to have a behavior plan in writing. This plan can be part of your child’s individual education plan (IEP) or it can stand alone. The behavior plan should be designed to give your child’s teacher the tools he or she needs to manage classroom behavior and to ensure that your child can learn.

    Use Your Resources

    The Behavior Exchange can work with you and your child’s school on identifying behaviors that can be modified and on creating a plan your child’s teacher can put into action. Use the input of experts to design the right plan for your child.

    At The Behavior Exchange, our school support and school consulting services help create accessible classrooms for children with autism in the DFW area. Get the support you need from one of our board-certified behavior analysts by calling (888) 716-8084.

  • Why Unproved Autism Therapies Can Put Your Child at Risk

    One of the biggest challenges that parents of children with autism face is the overwhelming number of untested, unproven autism therapies that are promoted on an ongoing basis. Trying these non-science-based therapies aren’t just potentially a waste of time and money for families. They can also put children with autism at risk for dangerous side effects.

    Many unproven autism therapies involve dietary changes, chemicals, minerals, and vitamins that can cause serious complications when not used appropriately. Some untested treatments can lead to serious health issues like mercury poisoning, intestinal upset, headaches, and vitamin overdose toxicity. For your child, unproven autism therapies will not provide results and could actually exacerbate symptoms in some cases.

    The Behavior Exchange is committed to providing autism therapy in the DFW area using the most tested treatment method available, applied behavior analysis . We’re always available to answer your questions about ABA and how it could help your child with autism. To learn more, please call us at (888) 716-8084.