The Impact of Early Childhood Intervention and PBS-Based Behavioural Therapy Combined with Inclusive Mainstream Education for Children with Autism.

Lifelong Impact on Children with Autism

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is an evidence-based approach to improving the quality of life and decreasing challenging behaviours in individuals with autism. Coupled with Early Childhood Intervention, PBS can have profound lifelong impacts, especially when a child gains inclusive mainstream schooling with their neurotypical peers.

Evidence-Based Behavioural Therapy: A Lifelong Impact with PBS

PBS focuses on understanding the reasons behind challenging behaviour and redesigning environments to encourage positive behaviour. This person-centered approach emphasizes skill development, which can benefit children with autism in many ways1.

Long-term studies have shown that children with autism who receive PBS-based interventions can experience significant improvements in behaviour, communication, and social skills2. A study by Lucyshyn et al. demonstrated the successful use of family-centered PBS in reducing challenging behaviours and improving family quality of life3.

Inclusive Mainstream Schooling: A Platform for Integration and Inclusion

Inclusive education in mainstream schools allows children with autism to learn alongside their neurotypical peers, fostering understanding, empathy, and acceptance among students4. Mainstream schooling provides opportunities for social interaction and peer modelling, crucial for children with autism to enhance their social and communication skills5.

Research indicates that students with autism in inclusive settings display better social and communication skills than their peers in segregated settings6.

Lifelong Benefits and Outcomes

These interventions and inclusive education practices can lead to a range of lifelong benefits:

  • Enhanced Social and Communication Skills: PBS interventions often result in improved interaction and communication skills, which can foster better relationships and greater social inclusion in adulthood.
  • Increased Independence: Enhanced life skills can lead to more independence in adult life, from living independently to securing employment.
  • Better Mental Health Outcomes: Early intervention and inclusion in mainstream education can improve self-esteem and reduce the risk of mental health issues later in life.

Evidence-based Behavioural Therapy using PBS and Early Childhood Intervention can have a substantial positive lifelong impact on children with autism. Inclusive mainstream schooling with neurotypical peers provides an environment for learning and social development, leading to improved outcomes across their lifespan.

  1. Carr, E. G., et al. (2002). Positive behavior support: Evolution of an applied science
  2. Horner, R. H., et al. (2002). Positive behavior supports for children and youth with autism spectrum disorders
  3. Lucyshyn, J. M., et al. (2007). Family implementation of positive behavior support for a child with autism
  4. Humphrey, N., & Symes, W. (2010). Perceptions of social support and experience of bullying among pupils with autistic spectrum disorders in mainstream secondary schools
  5. Kasari, C., et al. (2012). Social Networks and Friendships at School: Comparing Children With and Without ASD
  6. Hestenes, L. L., Cassidy, D. J., Hedge, A. V., & Lower, J. K. (2007). Quality in inclusive and noninclusive infant and toddler classrooms

Family Impact

Having a child with autism who receives successful evidence-based Behavioural Therapy using Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), Early Childhood Intervention, and gains inclusive mainstream schooling with their neurotypical peers can have a significant positive impact on the family as a whole.

Improved Family Dynamics and Relationships

Behavioural challenges common in children with autism can strain family relationships. Successful PBS interventions can lead to significant reductions in these behavioural difficulties, contributing to more harmonious family dynamics1. A study by Lucyshyn et al. demonstrated how family-centred PBS improved family functioning and quality of life2.

Reduced Stress and Better Mental Health

Reducing challenging behaviour can significantly decrease parental stress. Early Childhood Intervention and PBS can provide parents with effective strategies to handle difficult situations, thereby improving their mental health3. A study by Hastings and Brown showed a decrease in parental stress following successful behavioural interventions4.

Positive Parent-Child Interactions

PBS emphasises the importance of positive reinforcement, which can lead to increased positive parent-child interactions5. These positive interactions contribute to a more nurturing and supportive home environment, which is essential for the child's development6.

Empowerment and Increased Confidence

Parents often feel more empowered and confident in managing their child's behaviour following successful PBS interventions. This confidence can extend to managing school-related issues and advocating for their child's needs in mainstream school settings7.

Improved Sibling Relationships

Inclusive mainstream schooling can also improve relationships between the child with autism and their siblings. The exposure to neurotypical peers in school provides opportunities for the child with autism to develop social skills, leading to improved interactions with siblings.


Successful PBS-based Behavioural Therapy, Early Childhood Intervention, and inclusive mainstream schooling can positively impact families of children with autism. It can improve family dynamics, reduce stress, increase positive parent-child interactions, empower parents, and enhance sibling relationships.

  1. Carr, E. G., et al. (2002). Positive behavior support: Evolution of an applied science
  2. Lucyshyn, J. M., et al. (2007). Family implementation of positive behavior support for a child with autism
  3. Osborne, L. A., McHugh, L., Saunders, J., & Reed, P. (2008). Parenting stress reduces the effectiveness of early teaching interventions for autistic spectrum disorders
  4. Hastings, R. P., & Brown, T. (2002). Behavior problems of children with autism, parental self-efficacy, and mental health
  5. Strain, P. S., Wilson, K., & Dunlap, G. (2011). Prevent-teach-reinforce: Addressing problem behaviors of students with autism in general education classrooms
  6. Sofronoff, K., Leslie, A., & Brown, W. (2004). Parent management training and Asperger syndrome: A randomized controlled trial to evaluate a parent based intervention
  7. Marshall, J., & Mirenda, P. (2002). Parent–Professional Collaboration for Positive Behavior Support in the Home


Community Impact

When children with autism receive successful evidence-based Behavioural Therapy using Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), Early Childhood Intervention, and gain inclusive mainstream schooling with their neurotypical peers, the impacts extend beyond the individual and their family to the broader community.

Promoting Understanding and Inclusion

PBS can play a vital role in promoting understanding and acceptance of autism in the community. It provides a framework for understanding why a child with autism might behave in a certain way and encourages strategies that promote positive behaviour1.

Inclusive mainstream schooling allows neurotypical children to grow up understanding and accepting the different abilities of their peers with autism2. This environment helps to break down the barriers, fostering a community that's more tolerant and inclusive3.

Economic Benefits

Successful intervention in early childhood can result in substantial economic benefits for the community. A study by Jacobson et al. found that early intensive behavioural intervention, including PBS, for children with autism can lead to significant cost savings over the lifespan4.

Inclusive mainstream schooling can also reduce the costs associated with special education and provide a more effective allocation of resources5.

Enhancing Community Services and Infrastructure

Communities that embrace inclusive education often find that their services and infrastructure improve as a result. Schools and community centres become more accessible, benefitting not just children with autism, but anyone with additional needs6.

Encouraging Empathy and Understanding

Children who grow up with peers with diverse abilities often develop greater empathy and understanding. A study by O'Hara et al. found that neurotypical children who interact with peers with autism develop more accepting attitudes, contributing to more inclusive communities in the future.


Children with autism who undergo successful PBS-based Behavioural Therapy and gain inclusive mainstream schooling with their neurotypical peers can positively impact their communities. This effect ranges from promoting inclusion and understanding, economic benefits, and enhancing community services and infrastructure, to encouraging empathy and understanding.

  1. Carr, E. G., et al. (2002). Positive behavior support: Evolution of an applied science
  2. Kurth, J., & Mastergeorge, A. M. (2010). Individual education plan goals and services for adolescents with autism: impact of age and educational setting
  3. Humphrey, N., & Symes, W. (2011). Peer interaction patterns among adolescents with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) in mainstream school settings
  4. Jacobson, J. W., Mulick, J. A., & Green, G. (1998). Cost-benefit estimates for early intensive behavioral intervention for young children with autism--general model and single state case
  5. Capper, C. A., & Frattura, E. (2009). Meeting the needs of students of all abilities: How leaders go beyond inclusion
  6. Rouse, M. (2008). Developing Inclusive Practice: A Role for Teachers and Teacher Education