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Evidence for Effectiveness of ABA as a Treatment for Autism


This document summarizes medical and scientific evidence for effectiveness of applied behavior analysis (ABA) as a treatment for autism spectrum disorder. It includes:

  • Peer-reviewed literature
  • Findings, studies or research conducted by or under the auspices of a federal government agency or a nationally recognized federal research institute
  • Clinical practice guidelines that meet Institute of Medicine criteria
  • Reports by other professional and governmental associations
  • Expert analysis by autism researchers
  • Legal rulings by courts of law
  • Decisions by Regulatory Agencies

Documents listed in the first three categories (peer-reviewed literature, findings from federal government agencies or research institutes, and clinical practice guidelines meeting Institute of Medicine criteria) meet the requirements from Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 836-053-1325 for medical, scientific, and cost effectiveness evidence for use by Independent Review Organizations in External Review decisions to determine whether a treatment is medically necessary, or is an experimental / investigational treatment.