Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder is a group of complex developmental disorders characterized by impairments in communication and social relatedness, and restricted and/or repetitive patterns of behavior. The disorder typically emerges during a child’s first three years of life; however, some children with autism develop normally and then regress. Autism has a strong genetic component, though research on the exact link between genes and the disability is still inconclusive. What is known is that it affects the way the brain processes information, making it hard for children with autism to understand and produce language as well as interpret social cues and other nonverbal behavior. These challenges often present significant obstacles to learning, and necessitate that children with autism receive individualized education and care.

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ABA Facts and Resources

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an evidence-based science that utilizes the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behavior in meaningful ways. ABA programming is comprehensive and highly individualized to each student, with a focus on increasing skills that will enable the greatest independence possible and reducing any challenging or interfering behavior. ABA has long been considered the most effective and scientifically validated approach for teaching individuals with autism (Green, 2005; Smith, 1996; New York State Department of Health, 1999; United States Surgeon General, 1999). In fact, the United States Surgeon General (1999) concluded, “Thirty years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and in increasing communication, learning and appropriate social behavior.”

To learn more about autism and science-based treatments:

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Further information about the field of Applied Behavior Analysis can be found here: