Academic skills and ABA

L. Watkins, K. Ledbetter-Cho, C. Gevarter, B. Bloomfield

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


There is increasing interest on the academic skills of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), especially with the growing expectation that students with ASD be held to high academic standards and have access to the general education curriculum, and an emphasis on improving postsecondary outcomes. Academic performance varies for individuals with ASD, and there are often discrepancies between general ability and academic achievement. Thus, a need for interventions focusing on improving academic outcomes exists. Academic focused interventions that incorporate the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) have been effectively used with individuals with ASD to improve outcomes in literacy, mathematics, science, and other academic domains. This chapter describes the use of these interventions and provides recommendations for practice on the use of ABA strategies to teach academic skills to individuals with ASD. Strategies to teach academic skills aligned to general education content standards as well as functional academic skills needed for success in everyday life are discussed. The use of response and stimulus prompts, modeling, reinforcement, and chaining are important components of many academic focused interventions. In addition, task analysis procedures and self-monitoring strategies are elements of several effective treatments, promoting both task engagement and acquisition of academic skills. Successful interventions across academic domains are individualized based on the learner’s skill level and specific needs and also systematically program for generalization of skills across multiple contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder
Subtitle of host publicationAssessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment
EditorsJohnny L. Matson, Peter Sturmey
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783030885380
ISBN (Print)9783030885373
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameAutism and Child Psychopathology Series
ISSN (Print)2192-922X
ISSN (Electronic)2192-9238


  • Autism
  • Academic skills
  • Intervention
  • Applied behavior analysis

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