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Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2009 Oct-Dec;21(4):195-204.

Retrospective analysis of clinical records in 38 cases of recovery from autism.

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Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Tarzana, CA 91356, USA.



Twenty years of research on early intensive treatment using applied behavior analysis (ABA) for children with autism has consistently produced robust effects. There appears to be a subset of children whose response to intensive ABA treatments includes achieving a level of functioning that is indistinguishable from typically developing peers. The purpose of this study was to describe a subset of children who recovered from autism following intensive ABA interventions.


We reviewed the clinical files of 38 children with autism who achieved an optimal outcome after receiving intensive ABA services.


The mean age at intake was 40 months. Average IQ was 83.6 at intake and 107.9 at discharge. Mean adaptive skills were 68.04 at intake and 88.87 at discharge.


Our study corroborates the finding that some children with autism who receive early intensive behavioral intervention achieve functioning in the average range.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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