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“Autism” is a diagnostic term included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision Edition (DSM-IV-TR) used to describe individuals with impaired social interactions and communication, and who possess repetitive, stereotypical behaviors, interests or activities.

How Can Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Help?

Applied Behavior Analysis has been endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General, the National Institute of Health, the New York State Department of Mental Health, and many other states, including Louisiana, as an effective evidence-based treatment for Autism and many other pervasive developmental disorders.

A qualified professional, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) should be contacted when seeking ABA Services. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA’s) working in the field of autism intervention conduct skills assessments, functional assessments and functional analysis to tailor an intervention plan to meet the needs of an individual client. Skills assessments assist in pinpointing areas in which a client may have skill deficits so that instructional strategies can be developed to teach those skills. Functional assessments and analysis assist in determining why problematic behaviors are occurring so that behavior reduction strategies can be implemented specific to the problem behavior. To find a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, visit the certificant registry of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

Beware of frauds, there is currently no “cure” for autism and refrain from using therapies that offer no research evidence. The Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) provides a review of the available research evidence for autism treatments.

Additional Resources

Books

  • Cooper, J. Heron, T., & Heward, W. (1987). Applied Behavior Analysis. New Jersery: Prentice Hall.
  • Maurice, Catherine. (1993).Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family’s Triumph Over Autism. New York: Fawcett Columbine.
  • Maurice, C., Green, G., & Luce, S. (1996). Behavioral Interventions for Young Children with Autism: A Manual for Parents and Professionals. Austin: Pro-ed.
  • Lovaas, O. (1981). Teaching Developmentally Disabled Children: The Me Book. Austin: Pro-ed.

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