ChattQuoteThe Validity and Effectiveness of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Applied Behavior Analysis is now recognized nationwide as the most effective type of therapy for children with Autism and related disabilities (Lovaas, 1987; McEachin, Smith, & Lovaas, 1993; Maurice, Green, & Luce, 1996). No other treatment for children with Autism and related disabilities has provided extensive empirical research to validate it’s effectiveness with teaching language and communication. The field of ABA has proven that implementation of precise teaching procedures, through the process of motivational variables can result in significant improvements in children (Lovaas & Smith, 1989; Scheibman, 1988; Schreibman, Charlop & Milstein, 1993; Smith 1993).

In a behavior therapy program, the environment needs to be structured in order to teach, and set up so that appropriate behaviors can be reinforced (Koegel and Koegel, 1988). Children learn well in this type of learning situation because the environment is set up to be a positive learning experience. However, instruction needs to be one-to-one rather than in a group because the child needs to be taught every skill that typically developing children learn as a result of their natural environment (Strain, 1983). Once specific progress is made, the skills are then taught in the natural environment to promote generalization.

There are well over 550 studies published in scientific journals (e.g., The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, etc) validating the effectiveness of ABA procedures with persons who have Autism and related disabilities. Therefore, all the techniques that we implement are empirically sound, data based procedures.


Mental Heath: A Report of the U.S. Surgeon General:

“Thirty years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and in increasing communication, learning and appropriate social behavior.”

Satcher, D. (1999). Mental Health: A report of the surgeon general. U.S. Public Health Service. Bethesda, MD.


Clinical Practice Guideline Report of the Recommendations for Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders by the New York State Department of Health:

“Based upon strong scientific evidence, it is recommended that principles of applied behavior analysis and behavior intervention strategies be included as an important element of any intervention program for young children with autism.”

New York State Department of Health Early Intervention Program. (1999). Clinical Practice Guideline Report of the Recommendations for Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorders. New York State Department of Health, Albany. NY.

For consumer guidelines, please see Autism SIG:

For BCBA Task List and Autism Task List, please see: