Recently, the Los Angeles Times ran a very nice four-part series on autism in an effort to understand reasons for the burgeoning rates of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) over the past two decades.
In the third installment of the four-part series, the Los Angeles Times reported, “As the diagnosis of autism has exploded, so has demand for” applied behavior analysis (ABA), “the most commonly recommended treatment. It has become a thriving business, worth more than $200 million a year in California alone.”
In California and in some two dozen other states, laws mandate that the therapy, which often costs in excess of $50,000 annually, be covered by private health insurers.
Still, “for all the belief and investment in ABA, important questions remain about its effectiveness and how best to use it.”
The article went on to explain how some companies providing the therapy are relying upon intensive marketing efforts to promote it to families desperate for a cure.
Meanwhile, some research findings are now challenging the efficacy of the therapy for children “with full-fledged autism.”