Autism Research: Retrospective Analysis of Clinical Records in 38 Cases of Recovery from Autism

Research for Applied Behavior Analysis:

38 Cases of Autism Recovery Studied in the Context of Intensive Applied Behavior Analysis

An ongoing debate in the autism community is whether or not recovery is possible.  Researchers considered this idea in the context of early intervention with applied behavior analysis.  Their definition of recovery was achieving a level of functioning that makes it impossible to differentiate between an individual diagnosed with autism and their neurotypical peers.  The findings were published in an article titled Retrospective Analysis of Clinical Records in 38 Cases of Recovery from Autism.

The researchers examined the charts of 38 children with autism spectrum disorders.  All 38 children were described as experiencing “optimal outcomes” with intensive applied behavior analysis.  The researchers looked at the mean age at which the ABA intervention was started, average IQ at the start and end of ABA treatment, and mean adaptive skills at the start and end of the ABA program.

The study showed that the mean age of the 38 individuals showing recovery was 40 months when starting the early ABA intervention.  The average IQ prior to starting the applied behavior analysis program was 83.6 and increased to 107.9 at the end of the program.  The mean adaptive skills score was 68.04 prior to the start of the ABA intervention and 88.87 at the end of the program.

The authors state that this data suggests that some children who participate in intensive applied behavior analysis programs will achieve a level of functioning that is considered average.


Granpeesheh, Doreen. “Retrospective Analysis of Clinical Records in 38 Cases of Recovery from Autism.” Annals of Clinical Psychiatry 21.4 (2009): 195-204. Print.


Additional Information:

Autism Symptoms: A Microbial Association with Autism

Autism Symptoms Research:

Sutterella Bacteria Commonly Found in Autistic Individuals While Not Found in Controls
Research Identifies Sutterella Species Bacteria as Commonly Found in Individuals with Autism Compared to Controls

Gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation and diarrhea are often associated with autism.  However, it is still unknown how frequently such GI issues affect these individuals.  This may be due in part to insufficient knowledge in regard to the cause of the gastrointestinal symptoms found in autism.  A recent study identified a possible connection between GI issues and autism.  The researchers identified a specific bacteria frequently found in individuals with autism that was not found in controls.  Commentary on this finding highlighted the importance of the research.  The commentary was published in an article titled A Microbial Association with Autism.

The researchers discovered that a specific species of bacteria was commonly found in ileal mucosal biopsies in individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  The species of bacteria was not present in any of the individuals in the control group.  The bacteria is the Sutterella species.

The study found that the Sutterella species of bacteria made up as much as 1 to 7% of the bacteria sampled in the ileal mucosal biopsies.  The authors suggest that the amount (i.e. % of total bacteria) of Sutterella found in this study may be similar to or larger than the bacteria that effects patients with Crohn’s disease.

The authors of the commentary suggest that the research involving Sutterella bacteria and autism may be an important finding in regard to the gastrointestinal symptoms associated with autism.  They state that this research may initiate a new avenue of study in the attempt to discover the cause of the GI symptoms commonly experienced by individuals with autism.


Benach, Jorge L, Ellen Li, and Margaret M Mcgovern. “A Microbial Association with Autism.” mBio 3.1 (2012): 10-13.

Additional Information:

List of Research for Gastrointestinal Symptoms Associated with Autism

Gastrointestinal Symptoms & Autism Research List

2012 Research

A Microbial Association with Autism

  • Commentary on recently conducted autism research
  • Discusses common gastrointestinal symptoms associated with autism
  • Highlights finding in recent study identifying Sutterella species as a possible connection to gastrointestinal symptoms in autism


Additional Information: