Number and controllability of reinforcers as predictors of individual outcome for children with autism receiving early and intensive behavioral intervention: a preliminary study


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Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders;6(1)


Elsevier Science

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Although Early and Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) is an effective treatment for many children with autism, there is a substantial individual difference in outcome. This study was designed to investigate whether treatment gains were associated with the number and type of stimuli that function as reinforcers for 21 preschool-aged children with autism. Children with a large repertoire of socially mediated reinforcers benefited more from treatment. Children with many stereotypic behaviors, assumed to be an effect of a larger repertoire of automatic reinforcers, exhibited less benefit from treatment. These two dimensions taken together explained 49.9% of the variation in treatment gains for children after one year of EIBI. Due to the retrospective and indirect design of the study, results are to be interpreted with caution



NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6(1), 493-499,

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