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A treatment with scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness

Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, is a large field within psychology that focuses on the science of human behavior. It involves systematically applying interventions based upon the theory of learning to improve socially significant behaviors. ABA is an objective discipline, focusing on the reliable measurement and evaluation of observable behavior. ABA uses methods of analysis that yield convincing, reproducible, and conceptually sensible demonstrations of how to accomplish specific behavior changes.

Numerous experts have suggested that interventions using principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) are by far the most effective in treating young children with autism spectrum disorders. For example, the New York State Department of Health Early Intervention Program's clinical guidelines recommend that ABA be included as an essential element of any intervention program for young children with autism. The National Academy of Sciences Committee on Educational Interventions for Children with Autism concludes that the greatest number of well-documented studies addressing the treatment of autism have used behavior-analytic approaches. The Mental Health Report of the Surgeon General of the United States likewise stresses the effectiveness of ABA in the treatment of autism. The Association for Science in Autism Treatment strongly endorses ABA as the only treatment modality with scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness.