Despite the intense push for insurers to cover applied behavior analysis, or ABA therapy, some say evidence is insufficient to support the costly approach.

As Minnesota and other states weigh legislation to mandate health insurance coverage of the behavior therapy, there is debate within the autism community over whether ABA therapy is the best form of treatment for all children with the disorder.

The method first came about more than two decades ago when a University of California psychologist, Ole Ivar Lovaas, provided two years of nearly full-time therapy to 19 children with autism. The result: nine of the kids shed nearly all signs of autism by first grade.

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Today, ABA therapy is widely used and more than 20 states require insurance coverage for the treatment, which can cost as much as $100,000 a year.

But more recent research on ABA as compared to other approaches is inconclusive, leading the National Institute of Mental Health to say that “there is no single best treatment package for all children with ASD,” reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. To read more click here.

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