Welcome to Behaviorbabe
Ethical Advocate for Accurate Application & Dissemination of Behavior Analysis

Welcome to Behaviorbabe

Ethical Advocate for Accurate Application & Dissemination of Behavior Analysis

Important Publications on Applied Behavior Analysis 

A comparison of intensive behavior analytic and eclectic treatments for young children with autism by Jane S. Howard, Coleen R. Sparkman, Howard G. Cohen , Gina Green, Harold Stanislaw (2005) - Abstract: We compared the effects of three treatment approaches on preschool-age children with autism spectrum disorders. Twenty-nine children received intensive behavior analytic intervention (IBT; 1:1 adult:child ratio, 25–40 h per week). A comparison group (n = 16) received intensive ‘‘eclectic’’ intervention (a combination of methods, 1:1 or 1:2 ratio, 30 h per week) in public special education classrooms (designated the AP group). A second comparison group (GP) comprised 16 children in non-intensive public early intervention programs (a combination of methods, small groups, 15 h per week). Independent examiners administered standardized tests of cognitive, language, and adaptive skills to children in all three groups at intake and about 14 months after treatment began. The groups were similar on key variables at intake. At follow-up, the IBT group had higher mean standard scores in all skill domains than the AP and GP groups. The differences were statistically significant for all domains except motor skills. There were no statistically significant differences between the mean scores of the AP and GP groups. Learning rates at follow-up were also substantially higher for children in the IBT group than for either of the other two groups. These findings are consistent with other research showing that IBT is considerably more efficacious than ‘‘eclectic’’ intervention.
Comparison of behavior analytic and eclectic early interventions for young children with autism after three years by Jane S. Howard, Harold Stanislaw, Gina Green, Coleen R. Sparkman, Howard G. Cohen (2014) - Abstract: In a previous study, we compared the effects of just over one year of intensive behavior analytic intervention (IBT) provided to 29 young children diagnosed with autism with two eclectic (i.e., mixed-method) interventions (Howard, Sparkman, Cohen, Green, & Stanislaw, 2005). One eclectic intervention (autism programming; AP) was designed specifically for children with autism and was intensive in that it was delivered for an average of 25–30 h per week (n = 16). The other eclectic intervention (generic programming; GP) was delivered to 16 children with a variety of diagnoses and needs for an average of 15–17 h per week. This paper reports outcomes for children in all three groups after two additional years of intervention. With few exceptions, the benefits of IBT documented in our first study were sustained throughout Years 2 and 3. At their final assessment, children who received IBT were more than twice as likely to score in the normal range on measures of cognitive, language, and adaptive functioning than were children who received either form of eclectic intervention. Significantly more children in the IBT group than in the other two groups had IQ, language, and adaptive behavior test scores that increased by at least one standard deviation from intake to final assessment. Although the largest improvements for children in the IBT group generally occurred during Year 1, many children in that group whose scores were below the normal range after the first year of intervention attained scores in the normal range of functioning with one or two years of additional intervention. In contrast, children in the two eclectic treatment groups were unlikely to attain scores in the normal range after the first year of intervention, and many of those who had scores in the normal range in the first year fell out of the normal range in subsequent years. There were no consistent differences in outcomes at Years 2 and 3 between the two groups who received eclectic interventions. These results provide further evidence that intensive behavior analytic intervention delivered at an early age is more likely to produce substantial improvements in young children with autism than common eclectic interventions, even when the latter are intensive.
Is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) an Effective Treatment for Autism? A Cumulative History of Impartial Independent Reviews Eric V. Larsson, PhD, LP, BCBA-D (2013) - Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) for Autism are quite possibly the best examples of evidence-based behavioral health care. Impartial independent review panels consistently agree that ABA and EIBI treatments for autism are effective, and that the extensive body of research meets high standards of scientific evidence. These reviews also report that ABA and EIBI significantly improves the net health outcome in Autism in substantial and far-ranging ways. What is striking about the independent reviews of EIBI and ABA for autism is that the more careful the scrutiny, the more emphatic are the conclusions. For example, the New York, the Maine, and the US AHRQ commissions embarked upon yearlong independent reviews of the scientific support of ALL possible interventions for autism. Each panel stringently applied scientific standards of proof to all interventions and found that ABA-based therapies alone, of all possible treatments for children with autism, had been proven effective. As a result, the practice of ABA and EIBI have become part of the mainstream community standard of care. The conclusions from many years of independent review are quoted below in chronological order.
Intensive Early Intervention using Behavior Therapy is the Single Most Widely Accepted Treatment for Autism. It is No Longer to be Considered either an Experimental or an Investigative Treatment. In fact, it is the only evidence-based treatment available for autism. Eric V. Larsson, Ph.D., L.P., B.C.B.A. (2008) - Executive Summary: Intensive Early Intervention using Behavior Therapy is the only extensively researched and validated form of treatment of autism. In this research it is the only proven form of treatment for young children who suffer from autism. This paper summarizes the consensus of many independent review panels that Intensive Early Intervention is sufficiently evidence-based to be covered for families who seek effective treatment for their children. One of the most thorough and well regarded independent reviews is the report commissioned by the National Research Council (2001). Commenting on the specific question of whether this treatment is investigational, the Council reported: “However, there is substantial research supporting the effectiveness of many specific therapeutic techniques and of comprehensive programs in contrast to less intense, nonspecific interventions.” Independent panels continue to make even stronger conclusions regarding the evidence for the effectiveness of intensive early intervention. The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 2007: “The effectiveness of ABA-based intervention in ASDs has been well documented through 5 decades of research by using single-subject methodology and in controlled studies of comprehensive early intensive behavioral intervention programs in university and community settings. Children who receive early intensive behavioral treatment have been shown to make substantial, sustained gains in IQ, language, academic performance, and adaptive behavior as well as some measures of social behavior, and their outcomes have been significantly better than those of children in control groups.”

Evidence for Effectiveness of ABA as a Treatment for Autism - Introduction This document summarizes medical and scientific evidence for effectiveness of applied behavior analysis (ABA) as a treatment for autism spectrum disorder. It includes: Peer-reviewed literature, Findings, studies or research conducted by or under the auspices of a federal government agency or a nationally recognized federal research institute, Clinical practice guidelines that meet Institute of Medicine criteria, Reports by other professional and governmental associations, Expert analysis by autism researchers, Legal rulings by courts of law, Decisions by Regulatory Agencies Documents listed in the first three categories (peer-reviewed literature, findings from federal government agencies or research institutes, and clinical practice guidelines meeting Institute of Medicine criteria) meet the requirements from Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 836-053-1325 for medical, scientific, and cost effectiveness evidence for use by Independent Review Organizations in External Review decisions to determine whether a treatment is medically necessary, or is an experimental / investigational treatment.

Behavioral Treatment and Normal Education and Intellectual Functioning in Young Autistic Children (1987) Abstract: Autism is a serious psychological disorder with onset in early childhood. Autistic children show minimal emotional attachment, absent or abnormal speech, [impaired] IQ, ritualistic behaviors, aggression, and self-injury. The prognosis is very poor, and medical therapies have not proven effective. This article reports the results of behavior modification treatment for two groups of similarly constituted, young autistic children. Follow-up data from an intensive, long-term experimental treatment group (n = 19) showed that 47% achieved normal intellectual and educational functioning, with normal-range IQ scores and successful first grade performance in public schools. Another 40% were mildly retarded and assigned to special classes for the language delayed, and only 10% were profoundly retarded and assigned to classes for the autistic. In contrast, only 2% of the control group children (n = 40) achieved normal educational and intellectual functioning; 45% were mildly retarded and placed in language-delayed classes, and 53% were severely retarded and placed in autistic classes.