Does ABA work for older kids?



Shannon: Does ABA work for older kids?

Dr. Najdowski: That can be answered in 10 seconds.

Shannon: Okay.

Dr. Najdowski: Absolutely.

Shannon: Okay.

Dr. Najdowski: It works for any age. If you think about it, ABA, as a science is used with all different populations, not just autism or developmental disabilities. And it's used to teach things and it's used to change behavior. So absolutely it can be used. We've used it in many different sites with adults with developmental disabilities. There's tons of research out there of individual studies showing using ABA is effective for reducing challenging behavior and teaching adaptive skills.

Shannon: Okay.

Dr. Najdowski: We don't necessarily have a ton of outcome studies to show 50% achieve normal functioning or anything, but I think that's a lot to do with just not having those studies done. You know what I mean?

Shannon: So if somebody is hearing...

Dr. Najdowski: So...

Shannon: ...they've gone and that got their eight-year-old or their 10-year-old and they've said what about this ABA that I hear everybody talk about? And somebody says, "Unfortunately, your child is too old." That's incorrect.

Dr. Najdowski: Yeah, the thing is that because we have all this research with younger children for early intensive behavioral intervention, sometimes people make the conclusion of, "Oh, okay so ABA is effective and works really well with young kids." And then they jump to the next conclusion which is, "So it's not appropriate for older kids." But it's really not the case. It's just that we need to, as a field, start producing more research with older kids and really see what outcomes are we getting. We might not get the same outcomes, but we're teaching things and we're making better lives for people. You know what I mean? So...

Shannon: Absolutely.

Dr. Najdowski: Absolutely any age ABA will work.

Shannon: Great. All right, for all of you listening, make sure no matter what the age of the individual that you're wanting to help that you reach out and get good quality ABA services.

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