APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS HAS BEEN SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN AS AN EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR ASD

The rate of Autism is on the rise, with more and more children being diagnosed with Autism every single day. In 2014, the Center for Disease Control found that 1 in 66 children are now diagnosed with Autism every year. With the rates of Autism increasing, more and more parents and guardians are faced with the enormous decision of picking a therapy that will best increase the quality of life for their children. This decision can become complicated and stressful, due to the overwhelming amount of proposed treatments for Autism.

So, what is the first step in picking a treatment for your child with Autism? One important factor in picking an intervention is to look and see if the treatment is backed by science. There are many supposed treatments for Autism that are not backed by science. These include: vitamin regimens, strict dietary regimens, non-vaccination, and certain medications. These treatments may seem appealing; however, they have not yet been scientifically proven to effectively treat Autism.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an evidence backed treatment that has been implemented since the 1980s to treat children with Autism and has been scientifically proven to improve skills and increase the quality of life in children diagnosed with Autism. In 2010, Dr. Virués-Ortega looked at 206 studies to determine if ABA truly had a significant impact in treating Autism. An overall analysis of these studies showed that ABA led to positive effects for children diagnosed with Autism in these specific areas: intellectual functioning, language development, acquisition of daily living skills, and social skills. These promising findings only add to the scientific evidence that’s ABA has a positive impact on the lives of children diagnosed with Autism.

​With the rates of Autism increasing, it is important for parents to know what treatments and interventions are the best for their child. There is so much information on what may treat Autism, however, it is important for parents and caregivers to find out what treatments actually work. At this point, ABA is the only long-standing scientific based approach to treating Autism. Parents and guardians should always talk to their child’s pediatrician before implementing a new treatment to help their child.

References
Virués-Ortega, J. (2010). Applied behavior analytic intervention for autism in early childhood: Meta-analysis, meta-regression and dose–response meta-analysis of multiple outcomes. Clinical psychology review, 30(4), 387-399.