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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Early Childhood ABA: Issues of Early ASD Detection and Access to Intervention

  • Author(s): Jimenez, Zaira
  • Advisor(s): Solis, Michael
  • et al.

This paper provides an overview of ABA, summarizes findings from studies of early childhood ABA with a focus on intervention dosage, and addresses the influence of demographics and culture on early ASD detection and access to early childhood ABA intervention. Although, this paper is not inclusive of all the ABA studies conducted between 1987-2007 and beyond, it summarizes the findings of some of the historical studies in early childhood ABA. These historical studies were located through two systematic reviews including studies between the years 1987- 2007 and selected if they met the following criteria: (1) intervention was based on behavioral principals (2) participants were five years of age or younger at the onset of intervention (3) intervention was in-home or clinic-based (4) utilized a group research design. A total of seven studies met the inclusion criteria. All seven studies reported increasing intellectual, educational, and behavioral gains for children with ASD. However, three of the studies did not report significant differences across all outcome measures favoring the treatment group. The seven studies reported mixed findings regarding treatment dosage with weekly treatment dosage ranging from 40 to 19.45 hours. Additional findings indicated that demographics and culture should be considered as they influence the early detection of ASD and access to intervention. Based on these findings, future research should further investigate how these variables along with others moderate or mediate early childhood ABA outcomes associated with early ASD detection and access to intervention.

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