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More information about ABA and ASD

Read more about wide-spread support for ABA as the most accepted and effective treatment for autism:

  •  Autism Speaks states that “ABA is widely recognized as a safe and effective treatment for autism”; and “Behavior analysis is a scientifically validated approach to understanding behavior and how it is affected by the environment.”

  • The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (formerly the American Association on Mental Retardation), the oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization of professionals concerned with intellectual disability and related disabilities, designated ABA-based procedures for the treatment of behavioral problems with individuals with intellectual disability and related disorders as "highly recommended" (Rush & Frances, 2000).

  • American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry  concluded: “ABA techniques have been repeatedly shown to have efficacy for specific problem behaviors, and ABA has been found to be effective as applied to academic tasks, adaptive living skills, communication, social skills, and vocational skills” (Volkmar et al., 2014).

  • Organization For Autism Research ("The Best of the OARacle"; see page 10) stated that “…[ABA] is distinguished from other interventions because it has been proven effective in promoting skill development in persons with autism.”

  • National Autism Center’s National Standards Report (2009) noted that behavioral interventions based on ABA were found to have an established level of evidence to support their use. Examples include behavioral packages, antecedent packages, comprehensive behavioral treatment for young children, modeling, schedules, pivotal response training, and self-management packages.

  • The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders provides a list of several treatment options or components founded in applied behavior analysis (e.g., antecedent-based intervention, differential reinforcement, discrete trial training, functional behavior assessment, functional communication training, extinction, prompting, reinforcement) which have been demonstrated to be efficacious in children with autism.

  • The Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) found that “…ABA is effective in increasing behaviors and teaching new skills….ABA is effective in reducing problem behavior…and also indicates that, when implemented intensively (more than 20 hours per week) and early in life (beginning prior to the age of 4 years), ABA may produce large gains in development and reductions in the need for special services.”

Various federal government agencies have also concluded that      ABA-based procedures are well-established - particularly for      individuals with intellectual disability and autism who display      problem behavior.

  • The Centers for Disease Control (see types of treatment) indicated that a “… notable treatment approach for people with an ASD is called applied behavior analysis (ABA). ABA has become widely accepted among health care professionals and is used in many schools and treatment clinics….”

  • The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) noted that ABA has become widely recognized as an effective treatment for individuals with autism (see treatment options section).

  • The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development stated that “… applied behavior analysis (ABA), [is] a widely accepted approach that tracks a child's progress in improving his or her skills…”

  • The Surgeon General of the United States stated, "Thirty years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and in increasing communication, learning, and appropriate social behavior" (1999).