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CARD Study Is Latest Proving ABA Is the Gold Standard for Autism Treatment

Posted Nov 13 2010 3:52am

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, executive director and founder of CARD, celebrates 
the study results  with Megan Howell, one of the participants who recovered
 from autism. ( PRNewsFoto/Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc .)

Study results released by the Center for Autism and Related Disorders prove, once again, that  ABA is the gold standard for autism treatment.   CARD, one of the best known, experienced and credible centers for autism intervention in the world states in its press release that the study
"evaluated the effects of behavioral intervention for 14 young children with autism using a version of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) that blends structured teaching with play-based behavioral intervention. Today, 43 percent of the study's participants no longer display clinical symptoms of autism and most of the participants demonstrate significant improvements in functioning. 

In accordance with previous research, CARD found that many of the children made substantial gains in cognitive and adaptive functioning, as well as language skills. Most of the children also demonstrated significant improvements in executive functioning. After treatment, the average T-score for the group on the BRIEF, a measure of overall executive functioning, was 61, well below the cut-off for clinically significant impairment. In addition, 8 out of 14 children were functioning in the average range on the Vineland ABC, a measure of overall adaptive functioning, whereas only 2 of 14 were in the average range before treatment began.

CARD officials are not trying to overstate the results. They do not claim that the children are cured nor that they all can be said to be "indistinguishable from their peers"
Daniel Openden, the center's vice president and clinical services director, said the CARD results are the latest to prove ABA-based therapy is the gold standard for autism treatment. He sees autistic children make amazing progress, but he doesn't say they are cured or recovered.

"Recovery can mean different things to different people, so the key is to understand how recovery is defined," he said. "We see a range of outcomes in response to effective treatment, up to and including children who appear indistinguishable from their peers. But we're not comfortable saying that these children no longer have autism."

This study will have no persuasive effect on those who are ideologically opposed to ABA but for parents and others seeking help for their autistic children it is more evidence that they should give strong consideration to ABA as a treatment to help their children.
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