An Overview of Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis in the Gulf Cooperation Council in the Middle East

  • Michelle P. KellyEmail author
  • Ingy Alireza
  • Heather E. Busch
  • Sarah Northrop
  • Mohammad Al-Attrash
  • Susan Ainsleigh
  • Nipa Bhuptani
Review Paper


Despite the fact that autism is on the rise, there is paucity in the literature examining the treatment of autism in the Middle East and specifically the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The current review investigates the past, present, and future status of interventions for autism based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in the six countries of the GCC, namely the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The aims of this paper were to provide a brief overview of autism and ABA clinical services and educational opportunities and to investigate the relevant research published from each of the six states of the GCC.


Applied Behavior Analysis ABA Intervention Evidence-based practice Middle East Gulf 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle P. Kelly
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ingy Alireza
    • 2
  • Heather E. Busch
    • 3
  • Sarah Northrop
    • 4
  • Mohammad Al-Attrash
    • 5
  • Susan Ainsleigh
    • 6
  • Nipa Bhuptani
    • 7
  1. 1.Counselling, Health and Special Education DivisionEmirates College for Advanced EducationAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.Think Behavior and Development Center for ChildrenSaarBahrain
  3. 3.Applied Behavior Center of KuwaitKuwait CityKuwait
  4. 4.Voyage CareLichfieldUK
  5. 5.Shafallah Center for Children with Special NeedsDohaQatar
  6. 6.Jeddah Institute for Speech and HearingJeddahKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  7. 7.Autism Support Network—Abu DhabiAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates

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