In simple terms, this therapy is used to replace the undesirable behaviors with good ones. This therapy is often used to understand why a person with autism behaves in a specific way, and to suggest steps to change the bad behavior. This therapy is also known as behavioral modification or cognitive behavioral therapy.
When is behavioral therapy used?
Behavioral therapy is mainly used to treat people with mental disorders. This therapy is helpful when it is used to treat anxiety and mood swings. Generally, psychotherapists, psychologists use this therapy to treat patients having:
- Bipolar disorder
- Social phobia
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Eating disorder
- Personality disorder
Yes, it can be used to treat cancer patients too. Basically, behavioral therapy helps these patients to endure pain and cope up with radiotherapy efficiently. That is not all. This therapy can be also used to treat pregnant women who have problems in taking medicines.
Why behavioral therapy is a must for autism patients
t has been observed that a person with autism normally has a few challenging behaviors such as:
- Rushing into traffic
- Head banging
Apart from these, autistic people find some harmful ways to skip doing what they hate or don’t like. They may go under the table or may hum or may indulge into objectionable activities. In most cases, family members of autistic people don’t even know how to control these behaviors. After all, autistic patients are not intentionally misbehaving. Neither are they trying to seek attention of others. For an average person, it is extremely difficult to know how to modify these behaviors. And that’s where behavioral therapists come in.
Role of behavioral therapist in autism
The role of a behavior therapist can be summarized in the following ways:
- He needs to observe and analyze the environment minutely.
- He needs to observe the autistic people carefully.
- He needs to understand what actually turns on and off the autistic people.
- He needs to intervene and solve the problem.
- He should create behavior charts with appropriate stickers.
- He must give motivational prizes to give a positive environment to autistic people.
- He must try to eliminate those facts that are depressing autistic people.
- He should give social skill training to autistic people.
- He should have discussions on how to cope up with difficult situations.
- He should suggest activities that help to change focus.
Pros and cons
- It improves the quality of life
- It helps to improve the social skills of autistic people
- It helps autistic people to have less outbursts
- It helps them to cope up with pain in a better way
- It helps them to emote in better way
- It helps them to behave properly in an unfamiliar situation
- It helps to minimize the incidents of self-harm
- The emotional repercussions of this therapy can be little bit painful
- Some autistic patients may get exhausted after the session
How long it is needed
It depends upon the progress of autistic people. Some people may need it for a short period of time. But, others may need it for a longer period of time to cope with various situations.
All in all, a good behavior therapist, parents and teachers can bring an overall change in autistic people. They can make life easier for people with autism. All they need to do is use a set of tools and bring positive changes in the environment.