Research

There are hundreds of articles published in academic, peer-reviewed journals demonstrating the efficacy of ABA.

We have focused this short list on articles written by Dr. Lovaas, his protégés, or discussing his work.

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1) 1987 study of intensive behavioral treatment
Behavioral treatment and normal educational and intellectual functioning in young autistic children
Lovaas, O. I. (1987).
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology,
55, 3-9.
This was the first study done that demonstrated a sizable minority, 47% of children, achieved normal intellectual, social, and adaptive behavior functioning. This is the study that no one believed when it was first published!

 

2) 1993 follow up study
Long-term outcome for children with autism who received early intensive behavioral treatment.
McEachin, J. J., Smith, T., & Lovaas, O. I. (1993).
American Journal on Mental Retardation,
97 (4), 359-372.
This is a follow up study of the children from the 1987 study, showing that they maintained their treatment gains across many years.

 

3) 1999 report from the New York State health department
BEHAVIORAL AND EDUCATIONAL APPROACHES
This report recommends that a minimum of 20 hours per week of ABA be used in early intervention programs in NY state.

 

4) 2000 study replicating the 1987 Lovaas study
Randomized trial of intensive early intervention for children with pervasive developmental disorder.
Smith, T., Green, A., & Wynn, J. (2000).
American Journal of Mental Retardation, 105, 269-285.
The children in this study received slightly fewer hours, 30 per week, and the students placed in regular education classes decreased to 27%. This was a randomized study (addressing one of the criticism’s of the original research) using the Lovaas Method of ABA.

 

5) 2005 study replicating the 1987 Lovaas study results
Intensive Behavioral Treatment for Children with Autism: Four-Year Outcome and Predictors.
Sallows, Glen O. & Graupner, Tamlynn D. (2005).
American Journal on Mental Retardation, 110 (6), 417-438.
Replication study of the 1987 study by the Wisconsin site. The results are extremely consistent with the original 1987 numbers- 48% of children at age seven were succeeding in mainstream settings.

 

6) 2010 review of published early intensive behavior intervention studies
Using participant data to extend the evidence base for Intensive Behavioral Intervention for children with autism.
Eldevik, S., Hastings, R.P., Hughes, J.C., Jahr, E., Eikeseth, S., & Cross, S. (2010). American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 115, 381-405. Showed that children receiving behavioral intervention had better outcomes than for comparison groups. Intensity of hours, 35 hours per week and upwards, had the best gains.

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