Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (UCLA Model) and Autism
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Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention is a highly structured and intense form of Applied Behaviour Analysis in which a child is taught a range of skills by a team of therapists.
The therapists break down the skills into small tasks that are considered to be achievable and which are taught in a very structured manner.
Desired behaviour, such as use of language or socialisation, is positively reinforced and accompanied by lots of praise. Negative behaviour, such as self harm or aggression towards others, is not reinforced. For example, a child who hurts himself in order to gain attention would be prevented from hurting himself and the therapists might stop talking to the child until he showed a more desirable behaviour.
- There is strong research evidence to suggest that EIBI programmes are effective for many children with autism.
- However, individual response to treatment is variable and these programmes do not result in improvements in all areas of functioning.
- For some children, alternative interventions, such as specialist pre-school placements may produce comparable results and may offer greater opportunity for interactions with peers.
- If EIBI is undertaken, it is important to consider any benefits against the possible impact on parents (in terms of time, finances, organisation, involvement with other siblings).
- A thorough reward assessment should always be undertaken as many children with autism do not find verbal praise, clapping or touching to be rewarding.
- The use of punishment or ignoring behaviours (especially for self harm) should only be undertaken after advice from experienced professionals.
Please see the Advanced version of this page for more information about this intervention, including relevant research studies and details of how we ranked it.
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