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Friday, July 5, 2024

Autism Therapy in the US and Israel

Arkady Bukh at The Times of Israel
In the U.S., ABA therapy is heavily supported by both the government and insurance companies. Many states require insurance to cover ABA, making it more accessible for families. This support has helped the ABA market grow significantly, with projections indicating it could reach $4 billion by 2032.
In Israel, ABA therapy is also widely used for treating autism and is incorporated into public and private healthcare systems, schools, and specialized centers. Attitudes towards ABA therapy in Israel are varied. Many parents and professionals appreciate ABA for its structured methods and positive outcomes. However, similar to the U.S., the autistic community and some professionals are growing critical of ABA’s ethics and intense behavior modification focus. The Israeli government and health insurance providers strongly support ABA therapy.


Parents and professionals in both countries value ABA’s structured, evidence-based approach. Both have integrated ABA into their healthcare and educational systems.

Nevertheless, cultural differences greatly influence the implementation and perception of ABA therapy, which in turn shape societal attitudes towards it. The focus on individualism in the USA aligns with ABA’s goals of increasing independence and specific skills. American parents and professionals often prioritize interventions that help children gain autonomy, explaining ABA’s wide acceptance.

Conversely, Israel’s collectivist culture promotes a holistic view of therapy, considering the family unit and community alongside individual progress. Israeli families and professionals emphasize communal well-being and cohesion, adapting interventions to include family dynamics and collective goals.