The potential benefits of intensive behavioral intervention
With early intervention, a sizable minority of children diagnosed with autism, pervasive developmental disorders and related developmental disorders have been able to achieve normal educational and intellectual functioning by 7 years of age.
These children have been mainstreamed into regular classrooms and have advanced successfully through the school system without additional assistance. They show significant increases in intellectual functioning and perform within normal ranges on standardized tests of intelligence. They also appear indistinguishable from their peers in measures of social and emotional functioning.
Even for children who do not reach the level of typically-developing peers, their quality of life is greatly improved from what they learn; sizable decreases in inappropriate behaviors and acquisition of basic language skills are most often achieved. These children become more active members of their family and are usually able to learn in less restrictive special education classrooms or supervised regular education classrooms.