What is intensive one-on-one therapy ?
Intensive one-to-one therapy is the only effective way for treating autism. The Intensity refers to the enough hours for conducting behavioral therapy, while One-on-one therapy can make the therapist more focused on the needs of the specifc children in needed. Adequate treatment hours can prominently highlight the advantages of consistency and repetition.
Consistency, which means the target goal for the on-target behavior should be the same, the timing of reinforcing the target behavior should be the same and the consequences for the target behaviour should be the same as well. For example, whenever a child with autism yells, the therapist will deal with this screaming behavior consistently. Target goal for the behavior will be set as by what extent of screaming will be accepted, will whispering count as yelling? Will making verbal noise count as screaming? Moreover the timing for consequencing the screaming will be consistent too, whether the therapist should consequence them immediately whenever he screams or only when the child screams for more than a minute will followed with consequence. If the treatment is not uniform, a gray area will be created. Some children with autism will use this gray area to deliberately make eye-catching behaviors; for example, screaming to test whether they will be punished.
Moreover, inconsistency makes it harder for children with autism to establish good behavior. For instance, if we rewarded preferred behaviors occasionally but then ignored it in sometimes, this inconsistency will gradually reduce the motivation of children with autism to conduct the preferred behaviors. Therefore, providing consistent consequence or reinforcement can ensure that children with autism firstly, to fully understand what are the required behaviours and secondly, motivated them to perform the preferred behaviours.
An consistent reinforcement and punishment is important, but the repetition of intervention also plays an important role. For example, children with autism learn a new word in the last class, but after a few days, they return to the classroom, may have forgotten the word, and return to the basic steps, the relative treatment effect is greatly reduced.
In addition, some behaviors require repeated practice to be established. For example, eye contact, such habitual behavior requires a high demand of repeated practices to establish as a daily, usual habit in everyday life. If they only practice lets’ say eye contact for one day in a week, this does not allow them to establish a habit of having eye contact in every daily scenarios and situation. Therefore, the lack of regularity and repetition will inhabit children especially children with autism learning progress. rather than speed up the learning process.
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