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Res Dev Disabil. 2000 Jul-Aug;21(4):297-309.

Parent-directed, intensive early intervention for children with pervasive developmental disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-4820, USA.


We examined parent-directed, intensive early intervention for children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Children's parents recruited paraprofessional therapists and requested consultations on how to implement the UCLA treatment model in their homes (Smith & Lovaas, 1998). Parents and therapists then received six one-day workshops over a five-month period, with additional consultations for the next 2-3 years. Six boys participated (intake age 35-45 months, intake IQ 45-60). The study addressed 1) the children's skill acquisition during the first five months of treatment; 2) outcome 2-3 years later; 3) treatment quality; and 4) parents' impressions. Five of 6 children rapidly acquired skills when treatment began, but only 2 clearly improved on standardized tests at the 2-3 year follow-up. Therapists usually employed correct treatment procedures but were less consistent than therapists employed at a clinic. Parents reported high satisfaction with treatment. These mixed results highlight the need for multimodal assessment of parent-directed treatment.

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