Potential benefits of intensive behavioural intervention
Research indicates that with early and intensive behavioural intervention 35- 47% of children with autism and pervasive developmental disorders have been able to reach a normalized level of intellectual and educational functioning by the age of 7 (Lovaas, 1987; McEachin, Smith, Lovaas, 1993).
These children were integrated into ordinary educational classes and have successfully advanced in the educational system without any kind of additional assistance. They exhibit considerable improvements in intellectual functioning and score in the normal ranges of standardized intelligent tests. They are also indistinguishable from their peers in their scores for social and emotional functioning.
Unfortunately, these levels of functioning do not extend to the majority of children with ASD. In spite of this, an intervention focused on the treatment variables mentioned above does, in the majority of cases, achieve such benefits as:
- A significant fall in inappropriate behaviours.
- The learning of more complex and functional skills within the environment.
- The development of different levels of play, depending on the child.
- Skills for communication as well as the acquisition of basic language.
- Greater and better integration into social, community and educational settings.