What is the evidence?

More than 20 studies have established that intensive and long-term therapy using ABA principles improves outcomes for many but not all children with autism. “Intensive” and “long term” refer to programs that provide 25 to 40 hours a week of therapy for 1 to 3 years. These studies show gains in intellectual functioning, language development, daily living skills and social functioning. Studies with adults, though fewer in number, show similar benefits.

 Studies have shown that about 47 percent of children who were involved in intensive behavioral therapies at an early age achieved higher educational performance and IQ levels  

Read the evidence for yourself

Helpful Links

  For all emcompassing information on ABA within the United Kingdom: 


Some good articles on ABA and its effectiveness:  

Eldevik, S., et al., (2018)  Community Implementation of Early Behavioral Intervention: Higher Intensity Gives Better Outcome. European Journal of Bhaviour Analysis,  Published online: 21 Jun 2019.  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15021149.2019.1629781 

Cohen, H., et al., (2006) Early intensive behavioral treatment: Replication of the UCLA Model in a community setting. Developmental and Behavioral Paediatrics, 27, 145–155.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16685181     

Eikeseth, S., et al., (2002) Intensive behavioral treatment at school for 4–7-year-old children with autism: A 1-year comparison controlled study. Behavior Modification, 26, 49–68.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11799654     

Hayward, D., et al., (2009) Assessing progress during treatment for young children with autism receiving intensive behavioural interventions Autism Vol 13(6) 613–633.  http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=        

Howlin, P., (1997) Prognosis in autism: do specialist treatments affect long-term outcome? European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 6, 55-72.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9257087        

Mudford, O., et al., (2009) Technical review of published research on applied behaviour analysis interventions for people with autism spectrum disorders: Auckland Uniservices Ltd. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education.  https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/nzasd-supplementary-paper-on-applied-behaviour-analysis-mar16.pdf        

Remington, B., et al., (2007) A field effectiveness study of early intensive behavioral intervention: Outcomes for children with autism and their parents after two years. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 112, 418–438.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17963434        

Bishop-Fitzpatrick, L., Minshew, A., and Eack, S., (2013) A Systematic Review of Psychosocial Interventions for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.   J Autism Dev Disord. 43(3): 687–694.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3508309/