ABA Resources for Recovery from Autism/PDD/Hyperlexia

Research and experience: Why use ABA (behavioral intervention)?

On this page:

Experiences and opinions 

Research (ABA efficacy) 

More articles and discussions 

Opposing views

More information about behavioral intervention:

What is ABA? with links to similar pages

Frequently asked questions about ABA and autism

How can I get help for my child? is a "form letter" about accessing special education services

ABA service providers 

Schools using ABA 

Educational  program resources - books, videos, teaching materials, software, Web sites

Special education attorneys and advocates 

Health insurance, Medicaid, other sources of financial assistance

Autism "one Dad's view"

A failure of special education is a story that will be familiar to some, cautionary to others

Parents' and professionals' experiences stories and letters

Giving - support autism and special education organizations

Autism and ABA surveys and research - contribute your experiences

Teaching and Learning - brief notes on factors that affect how quickly our kids learn

Editorials - published letters, broadcast editorial replies, and public testimony

Training, Education, and Employment - schools, on-line courses, professional employment

Why use ABA - scientific research and personal experiences

Principles of ABA - learn how it works

Finding support groups and other families

Special education - know the law and make it stick

Finding teachers and tutors

International resources 

Other autism resources 


Start by understanding what works for others and what might work for your child. When I started this site in 1997 there were perhaps a dozen schools in the world using behavioral intervention for autism. Now there are well over ten times that number, including several started by parents.

Experiences and opinions

When choosing a program for your child, remember to look from results backward, not theory forward. See also my compilation of parents' experiences:

"I wanted to share our family's experience to help any parent who is struggling to decide what therapy is best for their child, or whether the cost is worth it...''

The following books are available from Different Roads to Learning, (800)853-1057, and Pro-Ed, (800)897-3202. If you purchase from Amazon.com by "clicking" from this page, a commission (about 6%) is donated to the Federation for Children with Special Needs.

While you're waiting for your books to arrive, read these accounts of progress (both large and small): Louise ° Tommy Anchorage AK ° The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star Norfolk VA ° Recovered kids (a mail group) ° Parents' delight UK ° Sam ° Daniel's Story Alberta ° Reagan ° Jake ° Lovaas Therapy ° L's Story Lombardy, Italy ° Leo New York City ° Intensive behavioral treatment for a toddler at high risk for autism ° Patient ratings of Lovaas therapy  ° Teddy ° Ethan ° Catherine ° 

Many Moms and Dads have published Web sites from their own experiences: Theresa in Texas ° Kathy and Calvin in Oregon ° Kim in Michigan ° Inside the Bubble in the UK ° Liz in Ontario ° Our Experience in the UK ° A Lucky Boy ° Blue Elephant in North Carolina ° Ashley in Connecticut ° Carol ° 

The New York State Department of Health Clinical Practice Guideline states, "It is recommended that principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and behavior intervention strategies be included as an important element of any intervention program for young children with autism." The Surgeon General of the USA reached a similar conclusion.

The courts frequently agree that ABA is the most appropriate intervention: Autism, PDD, Asperger's Syndrome ° Mr. X v. New York ° $133,000 settlement ° Digest of ABA-related appeals (long) ° British Columbia Supreme Court ° Amber Hawaii ° Analysis of Henrico County School Board v. R.T. ° Schools failing children with disabilities ° 

There is nothing that can compare to seeing for yourself the remarkable progress a child can make:

  • From another parent: Behavioral Treatment of Autistic Children shows some of the history of the Lovaas program, some general stuff about autism as well as details about Lovaas' landmark study. It was produced for educators to acquaint them with the program. The best part of the tape is at the end where you see five of the children (several years after treatment ended) from the 1987 study. The tape costs $28 plus s/h and can be purchased from Focus International, 1160 East Jericho Turnpike, Huntington, NY 11743, (631)549-5320. It is 44 minutes long.
  • Nightline: Finding the Words (ABC News, $29.95) "Through a series of home videos, you can see Jake emerge from a silent and remote world of his own into a child who appeared to be developing on a typical track. Andrew faced bigger hurdles, despite the same intensive treatment. His improvements were more modest, each hard-earned developmental step an enormous victory for him and his adoring parents."

Intensive Early Intervention using Behavior Therapy is No Longer Experimental, Eric Larsson, PhD (Microsoft Word)

News stories about ABA and autism

Peer-reviewed research (chronological order)

IDEA 2004 (the USA law governing special education) states "The term 'individualized education program' or 'IEP' ... includes ... a statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services, based on peer-reviewed research to the extent practicable, to be provided to the child ...."

  • Age at Intervention and Treatment Outcome for Autistic Children in a Comprehensive Intervention Program, Edward Fenske et al. (PCDI), Analysis and Intervention in Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 5, pp. 49-58, 1985, Pergamon Press [Intervention is most effective when started by age five]
  • Behavioral Treatment and Normal Educational and Intellectual Functioning in Young Autistic Children, O. Ivar Lovaas (UCLA), Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 55, No. 1, pp. 3-9, 1987 [Intensive early behavioral intervention led to normal functioning in nine of nineteen young children, compared to zero in a matched control group. Replication studies are in progress.]
  • Long-term outcome for children with autism who received early intensive behavioral treatment, JJ McEachin, O. Ivar Lovaas, Tristram Smith, American Journal of Mental Retardation, vol. 97, pp. 359-72, 1993 [Follow-up to Lovaas 1987, eight children from the intensive intervention group continued to be asymptomatic, along with one from a "low-intensity" control group.]
  • Age and IQ at intake as predictors of placement for young children with autism: a four- to six-year follow-up, Harris SL, Handleman JS, J Autism Dev Disord 2000 Apr; 30(2):137-42 [Study of 27 children in intensive behavioral intervention program shows higher IQ and lower age at start correlate well with later placement in regular education classes.]
  • Intensive Behavioral Treatment for Children With Autism: Four-Year Outcome and Predictors, Glen O. Sallows and Tamlynn D. Graupner, American Journal on Mental Retardation: Vol. 110, No. 6, pp. 417–438, 2005 [...after 4 years of treatment...48% of all [24] children showed rapid learning, achieved average posttreatment scores, and at age 7, were succeeding in regular education classrooms. ...These results are consistent with those reported by Lovaas and colleagues.] 
  • Behavior Analytic and Eclectic Treatment of Autism, Jane Howard, Coleen Sparkman, Howard Cohen, Gina Green, Harold Stanislaw, Research in Developmental Disabilities, 26, 359-383 (2005) [Intensive behavioral therapy produced substantially larger improvements than intensive "eclectic" intervention [which] produced negative mean change scores in multiple skill domains.]

Other articles and discussions

Opposing views and ethical concerns

This document is rsaffran.tripod.com/whyuseaba.html, updated Sunday, 26-Oct-2014 20:36:45 EDT

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