The use of applied behavior analysis (ABA) across the lifespan for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) evolves as young children mature to adolescents and then to adults. In childhood, instruction of comprehensive skill repertoires in combined treatment packages (e.g., early intensive behavioral intervention) in conjunction with instruction of individual functional skills related to communication, social skill interactions, and adaptive behavior create a comprehensive program. As children mature to adolescents and adults, instruction focuses more on individual functional skills related to adaptive behavior (e.g., vocational, personal/domestic, community, and leisure). Both combined treatment packages and individual functional skill instruction for children and adolescents rely upon the research-supported operant principles and procedures of ABA. Thus, ABA can be considered an efficacious treatment option for individuals with ASD across the lifespan if used with fidelity to the application of ABA principles.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Developmental and Educational Psychology