The Success Rates of ABA Therapy for Autism (2022) (2023)

The success rate of ABA therapy for autism is on the rise, with children living past their developmental milestones. The prevalence and severity of autism has increased in recent years due to a confluence of factors that make it more difficult to determine whether or not your child can be helped by this method.

The “why is aba therapy so expensive” is a question that has been asked many times. The success rates of ABA therapy for autism are 2020%.

The Success Rates of ABA Therapy for Autism (2022) (1)

When researching applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for your kid, you will discover that it is an objective and evidence-based treatment technique. Does this indicate the program is successful? The treatment strategy was created to collect quantitative information on clients’ achievement reaching particular treatment objectives, but does that mean the program is successful?

Despite some previous disputes, medical research in 2022 reveals that current techniques of ABA treatment are quite effective for the majority of persons with autism. The American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the US Surgeon General all recognize ABA treatment as a genuine evidence-based therapy for autism.

ABA Therapy & Autism: Medical Professionals Recommend This Approach to Treatment

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy is a kind of treatment that is based on scientific knowledge of human behavior. It is used to help individuals with autism and other developmental disorders improve their communication, learning, and social skills.

Much of the basis for behavior treatments like ABA can be traced back to a theory known as behaviorism, which emerged in the early twentieth century. This is the idea that good behavioral adjustments may enhance people’s lives in general.

While behaviorism as an ideology lacks scientific support, ABA therapy as a medical practice does. ABA therapists help people with developmental problems like autism recognize maladaptive behavior patterns and correct them using specialized approaches based on an overall treatment plan.

ABA therapists make strategies with particular objectives in mind. They bring down these objectives into quantifiable, objective actions for progress. Therapists may then determine if their client’s behavioral issues are improving or whether a new technique is required.

Because ABA is based on quantifiable goals, numerous scientific studies have been done to assess the therapy’s overall success in the decades since it was codified. As additional research into the effects of ABA therapy has been conducted, treatment techniques have evolved throughout time to improve the program’s overall efficacy.

Results of a Study on the Effectiveness of ABA Therapy

Applied behavior analysis has been shown to be effective for persons with autism in many trials.

A 2011 study, for example, looked at 27 papers from a variety of peer-reviewed journals. Children who underwent ABA treatment showed increases in cognitive ability, language, adaptive behavior, and social skills, according to the study. Aggression and anxiety were also reduced among the youngsters.

Because behavior analysis-based therapies are so beneficial, a 2012 study recommended that children on the autism spectrum get at least 25 hours per week of comprehensive intervention using a comparable methodology. This helps kids to work on their spoken and nonverbal communication abilities, as well as their social skills (by playing with other kids).

Many types of ABA treatment have been demonstrated to be successful in addressing autistic symptoms that might cause the person discomfort and emotional suffering. According to a 2007 study, five decades of ABA research have aided in the refinement of the process for both children and adults. When compared to children in control groups, children who get early and intense behavior therapy show higher persistent improvements in cognition, academics, adaptive behaviors, social behaviors, and language.

The Maine Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (DOE) examined 150 research including 43 different treatment options for autism. The meta-analysis assigned each intervention a rating based on the quantity of evidence employed in the treatment process, using the evaluative technique for defining evidence-based practice in autism. According to the assessment, ABA treatment was one of the few that matched the criteria for becoming an established evidence-based therapy.

Although short-term intervention is not the greatest approach, it may help certain youngsters. A 2012 research indicated that beginning around the age of two, 48 children with autism received 6 months of ABA treatment, which improved their capacity to interact with others, cognition, and the severity of their autistic symptoms. However, most studies shows that long-term, intense therapy, particularly when started at a young age, is more effective.

Different types of ABA therapy are used to assess success in different areas.

Medical professionals support ABA treatment and send autistic persons to therapists who specialize in a subset of the therapy.

There are certain popular and demonstrably beneficial subgroups of ABA treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Discrete trial training/teaching (DTT): This method divides a broader treatment plan into smaller, discrete components. The learning process is quite straightforward since these components are as basic as feasible. Positive reinforcement is a technique for rewarding good or proper conduct. Inappropriate conduct choices are not taken into account.

The ABC approach is used in discrete trial training: Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequence. Using this approach, therapists may assist the person with autism comprehend that maladaptive actions serve as antecedents for reactive behaviors in others, resulting in undesirable or harmful outcomes. Although the ABC approach is often used in other forms of behavior treatment, it is unique to DTT.

According to research, using DTT in a gradual method that works for most clients might take up to 600 hours of treatment.

Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI): ABA treatment has been demonstrated in several trials to be effective for children of all ages, but it is especially effective for young children. In response, the EIBI program was created for children aged 5 and under.

This kind of ABA treatment is extremely organized, allowing the kid with autism to acquire each component of a broader skill, such as enhancing social communication by decreasing maladaptive behaviors such as tantrums, violence, or self-injury. Each session is led by a therapist and takes place in a one-on-one setting. During sessions, a certified expert supervises the youngster to assure his or her safety.

EIBI should be regarded a beneficial therapy approach for young children on the autism spectrum, according to a report released in 2010 by the New Zealand Guidelines Group, which is part of the New Zealand Ministry of Health. While the evidence in support was determined to be fair rather than excellent, this thorough analysis nonetheless suggests that the EIBI subgroup of ABA treatment may help a broad spectrum of youngsters.

The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is a therapeutic strategy that focuses on very young children between the ages of one and four. Therapy sessions are structured, but they rely on children’s natural desire to play to help the kid with autism revert to neurotypical developmental patterns, particularly in terms of learning and socialization.

Because the brain of a kid is still developing, ESDM seeks to alter the establishment of particular pathways. This promotes greater cognition, sociability, and communication in youngsters throughout their lives.

In a 2010 research on ESDM, 48 children with autism aged 18 to 30 months were randomly randomized to receive either intense ESDM or community treatment. Adaptive behaviors, IQ, and total autism diagnosis improved better in children who had ESDM.

In compared to other forms of therapy, the Denver Early Start Model proved to function best in a 2011 research that incorporated ESDM in behavior interventions. However, it was evident from the research that the quantity of evidence obtained was insufficient.

Pivotal response treatment (PRT) is an ABA therapy for older children that aims to improve their desire to learn while also keeping track of their behavior. This enables youngsters to continue to progress even after their treatment sessions have ended.

PRT teaches children with autism how to begin conversation with others and remain focused on the consequences of their actions. Beneficial improvements are thought to have a far-reaching positive impact on others.

Neuroimaging of persons with autism who had PRT revealed alterations in the brain that suggested long-term behavioral change, according to a research. While the use of neuroimaging is still in its early stages, therapists may benefit from this combination of behavioral and structural brain alterations in the future.

A separate research indicated that PRT performed better for treating focused behavioral difficulties after three months of treatment when compared to wider techniques utilized in general ABA therapy.

Verbal behavior intervention (VBI): This kind of ABA focuses only on verbal abilities, rather than nonverbal communication, cognition, and learning, or other aspects of life that autism may affect. The goal of VBI is to teach an autistic kid how to use words in a certain manner to attain a specified goal. For example, instead of employing gestures like pointing or exhibiting other indicators of comprehension but not speaking the words, the objective is for the youngster to say, “I want a cookie.”

Locating a Reputable ABA Therapist

Experts no longer regard ABA treatment to be exploratory or experimental since it has been around since the 1950s. Instead, it is a well-understood therapy technique that can be tailored to meet the requirements of each person. It follows a set of stages to collect evidence and assist each child’s personal development.

If you have an autistic child or teenager and want to pursue this kind of behavior treatment, there are a few options for finding a trained therapist. To acquire a referral, consult with your kid’s doctor — either his or her pediatrician or another developmental expert, such as a child psychiatrist or psychologist.

You may also work with your health insurance provider to identify an ABA therapist in your area who is accepting new patients. It’s a good idea to double-check your insurance policy’s details. Your insurance company may be required to cover autism-related therapy services depending on where you reside. Your provider can tell you about the details of your plan and how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket for ABA treatment.

Other reputable organizations that may provide you with ABA treatment tools include:

All ABA therapists must be certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) to conduct this kind of behavior therapy. Professionals are held to a high degree of performance and education by BACB. To discover a local provider, browse their BCBA certificant register.

Autistic Speaks strives to make the world a better place for persons on the autism spectrum. They provide a searchable resource guide where you can look for ABA providers in your area. You may limit your search to providers who work with certain age groups, enabling you to locate an ABA therapist who has worked with children in your child’s age group.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and affiliated government entities provide resource listings for ABA treatment groups, NGOs, and medical practitioners.

Gold as a benchmark

While there are a variety of treatments available to help persons with autism, ABA therapy is the gold standard. It has a high success rate in assisting people on the autism spectrum in gaining greater independence, improving communication and socializing skills, and reducing negative behaviors.

In 2022, there is cause to be optimistic about your child’s ABA treatment success.


  • Behavioral Analyst Certification Board’s home website (BACB).

The “long-term effects of aba therapy” is the question that everyone wants to know. The answer is not clear yet, but we can expect a lot more information in 2022.

Related Tags

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  • aba therapy success stories
  • why is aba effective with autism
  • disadvantages of aba therapy
  • is aba therapy harmful

The Success Rates of ABA Therapy for Autism (2022) (2)


Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.


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