Comprehensive ABA refers to treatment where there are multiple targets across all developmental domains that are affected by the individual’s ASD.
Although there are different examples of comprehensive treatment, one example is intensive early treatment where the overarching goal is to close the gap between the client’s level of functioning and that of typically developing peers. Targets are drawn from multiple domains of functioning including cognitive, communicative, social, and emotional. Targets also include reducing the symptoms of co-occurring behavior disorders such as aggression, self-injury and stereotype. However, comprehensive behavioral treatment may also be appropriate for older individuals diagnosed with ASD, particularly if they engage in severe or dangerous behaviors across environments. In some cases, residential placement or inpatient hospitalization may be required for a period of time.
Treatment is intensive and initially provided in structured therapy sessions. More naturalistic treatment approaches are utilized as soon as the client demonstrates the ability to benefit from these treatments. As the client progresses and meets established criteria for participation in larger or different settings, treatment in those settings and in the larger community should be provided. Training and participation by caregivers are also seen as an important component.