What is clear is that progress varies enormously from case to case, as does the therapy itself.
In another room, 51/2 -year-old Declan Byrne seems disconnected from the world. Nearly a year and a half into his intensive therapy, he disregards many instructions, plays with his eyelashes and makes humming noises.
Still, his mother, Nancy Byrne, said that he has become calmer and gone from not speaking at all to saying simple phrases such as "I want that."
His therapy is rigid. To curb his propensity to run off, the therapist insists that he follow closely as she walks around the room. "Way to stay with me," she says.
He struggles to complete a small puzzle and some simple tasks. The therapist encourages him to sit properly and control unusual mouth movements.
Looking over icons on an iPad screen, he chooses his reward: A scooter ride.
He propels himself down the sidewalk as his therapist jogs along. Each time she says "stop" and he obeys, he receives a gummy bear.
Eventually, he ignores her commands. She takes the scooter away, and for a moment, Declan resists walking back into the building.
Back inside, the therapist regains control. "You need to sit down," she says, and ultimately he does.
"Nice, Declan. That's the way to sit. You're quiet."