Mother Tells How Applied Behaviour Analysis Has Helped Daughter

CC BY by BuckDaddy

CC BY by BuckDaddy

 Tracy Holliday, UK  – who is an interior designer, is mum to twin girls, Freya and Chloe. In an article in the Express, she tells of how she was not surprised Freya was diagnosed with autism, 18 months ago by a psychiatrist and a paediatrician. She knew that her daughter was different from a very early age.However she admits that she found the diagnosis devastating as she knew having autism would make Freya’s life hard.

There family were given no advice or support and Freya was put on a waiting list for occupational therapy and speech and language therapy.

Tracy was told by a private speech therapist that;
‘Freya had no idea about communication and that the gap between her and her peers would only widen if they didn’t intervene.’
 Tracy, and her husband Andrew,  got in touch with other parents of children with autism and were told to try applied behaviour analysis (ABA).
Tracy writes that;

‘local authorities in the UK often refuse to fund ABA unless there is concrete proof it is making a difference’

Tracy and Andrew used their own money to fund a  six-month course of one-to-one ABA therapy for their daughter, the total cost per week£540.

ABA centres around  “reinforcers” for good behaviour, social development and learning. Freya’s consultant Dr Francesca degli Espinosa says:

“It is all about changing the variables of behaviour by using individual motivations.”

Freya is pre verbal and has learnt sign language and is starting to sound out letters. However many autism specialists believe ABA to be like “dog-training”, and have accused parents of trying to “normalise” their children, Tracy writes.

Former investment banker, Jane McCready believes the UK is 30 years behind America where ABA is used as standard, her son who is 11, have been using ABA for the past 3 years.

Jane has set up a group called ABA4All which is campaigning for the therapy to be available to all children who need it.

The original and full article by Tracy Holliday in the Express can be read here
The ABAFALL campaign can be visited on Facebook

Last November, Autism Daily Newscast reported on the strong response to a documentary produced by the BBC about Applied Behaviour Analysis which can be read here.