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Behav Modif. 2002 Jan;26(1):69-102.

Intensive behavioral treatment for a toddler at high risk for autism.

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New England Center for Children, University of Massachusetts, USA.


Intensive, comprehensive treatment using a variety of applied behavior analysis methods was provided to a toddler who was determined to be at high risk for autism at the age of about 1 year. Initially, treatment was delivered in a one-to-one adult-child format in the child's home and other settings, with gradual transitions to group instruction in early intervention and preschool classrooms. Intensive treatment continued for 3 years; by the 4th year, the child was spending most of her time in a regular preschool classroom, with minimal ongoing one-to-one instruction. Direct observational data and results of norm-referenced tests documented large increases in language, social, cognitive, and daily living skills over the course of treatment. After 4 years, the child demonstrated no behavioral or developmental abnormalities, performed above her chronological age level on norm-referenced tests of cognitive and language skills, and was functioning as a typical child in a regular public school kindergarten classroom.

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