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Help! Child Not Following Directions. What Can I Do?

July 11, 2016


My child is not following directions. I try to be patient, but sometimes it’s really hard. Please help me understand how I can help her without letting my frustration show.


Parents and other primary caregivers play the most important role in the life of the child. While therapists and teachers may spend a great deal of time or only a few hours a week with a child, parents are in it for the long haul.

For this reason, it is vital that parents play a key part in their child’s therapy. Copious amounts of research have proven that parental involvement in ABA therapy results in more favorable outcomes in skill acquisition, behavior reduction, and also parental stress, (Kamio, 2015).

The more parents continue to work on the skills being taught in therapy sessions, the sooner progress will be seen. Conversely, if behaviors and skills are not reinforced outside of therapy sessions, progress can be stalled, or it can take longer to see substantial gains. The best way for parents to help their children succeed is to communicate with the behavior technician and BCBA on a regular basis and participate in regular sessions and parent trainings when available.

It is especially important that parents communicate with their BCBA even more when sessions take place outside of the home where the parents are not present, such as school or day care. Learning basic ABA techniques, understanding your child’s specific treatment plan, and being an active participant in therapy are all examples of how parents and caregivers can play an active role that results in positive change in their child’s life.

Father playing with his little girl at home Father playing with his little girl at home