Submitted By: Katy Hudson
While it may be seem that ABA is primarily for younger children, or those who are still in school, ABA can also assist with transitions into adulthood.
There are many new changes that occur when transitioning from high school to independent living or to college. ABA can assist with teaching how to conquer the new social challenges, teaching job interview skills, or even how to apply for scholarships.
It may seem simple enough to fill out a sheet of paper for a job, but these moments can be aversive for many reasons. It could be that the individual does not know their social security number, it may be uncomfortable to be filling out the paper and turning it in to someone that they don’t even know. These are skills that can be worked on in a setting that is more comfortable for the individual and then taken to other environments.
Learning job skills is also important and ABA can assist with that. Whether the job is gathering carts, bagging groceries, working in a library, or another field, each of these jobs require tasks that can be strengthened through ABA. If the young adult is working in a grocery store we can teach appropriate social skills that are required for this job (greeting individuals, offering assistance, asking their supervisor for help if they need it). This may seem simple enough but for some individuals, it is a skill that there are deficits in. When working there will also be situations that come up that they may not be prepared for (a dissatisfied customer) that when taught how to handle these situations, they can contact more success with their job rather than failure.
For some individuals, a job or college may not be the first thing they pursue when they complete schooling. Learning adaptive daily living skills (ADLs) is important to increase their independence. Many of our clients learn ADLs as they come to therapy. These skills may include how to wash dishes, tying shoes, vacuuming, preparing their own meals, and calling individuals. All of these skills are important to learn in order to become independent. With clients who come to ABA to work on social skills, we also use the Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS) by Partington and Mueller to assess what skills they can complete independently and what skills that may need to be strengthened.
Our ultimate goal is to “work ourselves out of a job”. We want the individuals that we work with to be able to do as much on their own as they can. We strive to help our clients reach these goals and their potential. So while your child may be moving closer to adulthood, ABA is there to help along the way.