Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is one of the most effective ways to teach young children with ASDs. Specific skills are taught by breaking them down into small steps. Each step is taught one at a time, building on the previous one. The child learns by methods such as prompting or guiding the child through the correct response, shaping, and rewarding the correct response. ABA has been used for many years to teach people with varying abilities. It can be used in all skill areas including academic, speech and language, self-help skills, and appropriate social behavior.
The Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) is helpful in teaching academics by using intensive verbal, auditory, visual, and tactile prompts to elicit responses. RPM increases students’ confidence, self-esteem, and interest. Prompting keeps students focused while letting them succeed.
Facilitated Communication (FC) involves a facilitator holding the communicator’s hand or arm in a certain way to let the communicator point to letters on a keyboard or letter board. This method is useful for nonverbal autistic people.
Training in social skills is necessary for individuals with ASDs. Research has shown that autistic people do not understand that other people think differently than they do and their own points of reference. They are unable to anticipate what others may say or do, creating problems in social behavior.
Social stories promote desired social behavior by describing in writing social situations and the appropriate responses. This method may be applied to a wide variety of social situations. The learner takes an active role in developing the story. Social stories usually have descriptive sentences about the setting, characters, and their feelings. The stories give direction regarding appropriate behaviors and responses.