As children, we learn about Sequencing Pediatric ABA without ever realizing it. From learning that ‘A’ precedes ‘B’ and ‘C’ in the alphabet, to learning that ‘Friday’ follows ‘Thursday’ each week. As we grow, we begin learning more complex sequencing, such as the order of events in a story or a historical timeline. However, these skills do not come easily for all children, particularly for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
What is ABA therapy?
Many children with autism experience difficulties with organizing and processing information in a sequence, so a child may work on building this skills in applied behavior analysis therapy (ABA therapy). In ABA therapy, a certified therapist will work with the child to create more positive behavioral and developmental skills and resolve behaviors that are problematic. ABA therapy will also examine how behaviors change with the environment.
Why is Sequencing Pediatric ABA important?
Sequencing is an important skill for children to learn from an early age, as it can be generalized to many different settings. While we may not realize it, even eating a piece of fruit requires the use of sequencing skills. This skill is also used in creating a daily schedule or routine in school, washing your hands before snack time in class, and when listening to your teacher read a book during story time.
Visuals can help with Sequencing Pediatric ABA
Many children with autism experience sensory issues, making it difficult to process sensory input. In order to support the way that these children process information, it can be helpful to present information with the use of a visual support, rather than using a verbal instruction. There are many helpful programs, including Boardmaker, that ABA therapists, parents, and teachers can use to create visual schedules to show sequencing. Some children might benefit from a visual schedule to show sequencing for specific activities, such as hand washing. Other children might find success with a sequencing chart that shows the order of multiple activities. For example, First: Story Time, Second: Music Time, Third: Wash Hands, Fourth: Snack Time.
A visual schedule can also help older children with autism who struggle with their executive functioning. Executive functioning includes planning a schedule and prioritizing tasks throughout the day.
Sequencing in ABA therapy
Sequencing is an important skill to develop in ABA therapy. In learning sequencing, children on the autism spectrum are able to develop their ability to process and organize information. An ABA therapist might also recommend that parents remain consistent using sequencing strategies at home, such as visual schedules for tasks in the morning, afternoon, and night (after school) or schedules of chores for each day of the week. The concrete structure of a visual schedule can also be comforting for children with autism who become anxious with the unknown.
Do you think ABA therapy could help your child with sequencing?
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