Assessing progress during treatment for young children with autism receiving intensive behavioural interventions

Autism. 2009 Nov;13(6):613-33. doi: 10.1177/1362361309340029.


This study examined progress after 1 year of treatment for children with autism who received a mean of 36 hours per week one-to-one University of California at Los Angeles Applied Behavior Analysis (UCLA ABA) treatment. Two types of service provision were compared: an intensive clinic based treatment model with all treatment personnel (N = 23), and an intensive parent managed treatment model with intensive supervision only (N = 21). A non-concurrent multiple baseline design across participants (N = 13) examined whether progress was associated with ABA treatment or confounders. Between intake and follow-up, children in both groups improved significantly on IQ, visual-spatial IQ, language comprehension, expressive language, social skills, motor skills and adaptive behaviour. There were no significant differences between the two groups on any of the measures at follow-up. Mean IQ for participants in both groups increased by 16 points between intake and follow-up. These findings are consistent with previous studies demonstrating the benefits of ABA treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Autistic Disorder / therapy*
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Language Tests
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychology, Applied
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Treatment Outcome