The Effectiveness of Early Intensive Behavior Interventions on Children with Autism in Developing Academic and Living Skills
The article titled “Intensive Behavioral Treatment for Children With Autism: Four-Year Outcome and Predictors” by Sallows, G. & Graupner, T. (2005) is one of the studies the results of which are consistent with the one reported by reported by Lovaas (1987) and McEachin, Smith, & Lovaas (1993). According to them intensive behavioral treatment is an effective strategy of treatment for children with autism leading to a considerable progress in cognitive, language, adaptive, social, and academic measures. The distinguishing feature of this study is that the authors measured outcomes of EIBI after four years of intervention and thus it enabled them to evaluate the effectiveness of this treatment program objectively. Such a long period of time of the intervention is especially important taking into consideration the results and findings of other studies claiming that EIBI can bring only short-term results.
Alongside with this, the article offers a profound literature analysis. The authors analyze the works of Lovaas, Koegel, Simmons, & Long, 1973; Lovaas,1987; McEachin et al., 1993; Harris, Handleman, Gordon, Kristoff, & Fuentes, 1991; Mundy, 1993 and many others. They indicate that EIBI developed at UCLA in the 1960s and 1970s. This program presupposed treatment of children younger than 4 years of age with the help of a curriculum in which special attention was paid towards language development, school integration skills and social interaction.
This program was reported to be effective because after two years of treatment almost a half of the participants achieved normal functioning.In their article Sallows & Graupner (2005) also discuss major controversial issues associated with the ULCA program. For instance, they discuss such issues as the use of aversives, which were part of the UCLA protocol; implementation of the program without resources of the university research center; the cost of the program which can reach $50,000 per year; and the discrepancy of the terms “recovery” and “remediation”. For the purpose of this research there were selected 24 children answering all the criteria identified by the authors. The children were randomly assigned either to the clinic-directed group or to the parent-directed group. Both groups received treatment based on the UCLA model amounting 40 hours per week and in both groups parents were encouraged to extend the impact of treatment. The participants of the first group received 6-10 hours per week of in-home supervision while the participants of the second group received 6 hours per month of in-home supervision. The treatment procedure included engaging in favorite activities, employing brief instructions, using familiar materials, tasks requiring visual attending, reinforcing of responses and various kinds of games. It also included dominance of receptive language, and imitation training of the expressive language.
Speaking in full sentences was preceded by learning a big amount of labels which helped children to express their desires and ideas. Social interaction was a part of in-home program and it was conducted in …