In this section, FEATBC provides sources of information to learn more about science-based autism treatment, currently Intensive Behavioral Treatment (IBT) based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The treatment is also referred to, by lay people, as the “Lovaas Method” since Dr. Lovaas was the first researcher to clinically test the method with a considerable number of children, utilizing not only an experimental group, but also two control groups. He also encouraged the establishment of replication sites around the world to further test and refine the method that today benefits 1000s of children globally.
- Maurice, Catherine. Let Me Hear Your Voice. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.
This is the story of a mother who used the behavioral technique pioneered by Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas at the University of California at Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.) to treat two of her children, both diagnosed with autism. She describes the therapy from the beginning up until the time when both her children were indistinguishable from their peers. Dr. Lovaas has a chapter at the end of the book (page 324) and Appendix II contains many of the drills used. This is the best “light reading” on the method.
- Johnson, C. and J. Crowder. AUTISM: From Tragedy To Triumph. Boston, M.A.: Branden Publishing Co. Inc., 1994.
This is another story of a mother who used the Lovaas method to treat her son who was diagnosed with Autism. This is a very quick read but does not go into much depth about the treatment as does the Maurice book, listed above.
- “Behavioral Treatment for Autistic Children”, By O. Ivar Lovaas.This is the original video-tape that introduced legions of students in psychology to Dr. Lovaas’ research program. Although most university libraries all have copies, the video-tape can be purchased at the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies online.
- “The Child Who Couldn’t Play”, By David Suzuki, from the C.B.C. series “The Nature of Things”.This video-tape was produced in 1996 and told the story of parents trying to gain access to the treatment pioneered by Dr. Lovaas. Although most universities have copies, it is difficult to purchase the video-tape for individual viewing.
- Lovaas, I. O. Teaching Individuals with Developmental Delays: Basic Intervention Techniques. Austin, Texas: Pro-Ed, 2003.
This is the detailed instruction manual that is the basis for therapy programs using the Lovaas method. The book has the following seven sections: 1) Basic Concepts; 2) Transition into Treatment; 3) Early Learning Concepts; 4) Expressive Language; 5) Strategies for Visual Learners; 6) Programmatic Considerations; 7) Organizational and Legal Issues.
- Maurice, Catherine. Behavioral Intervention for Young Children With Autism: A Manual for Parents and Professionals. Austin, Texas, Pro-Ed, 1996.
This is a comprehensive book that goes into great detail on how to set up, and administer an intensive early intervention program using the technique pioneered by Dr. Lovaas. The book includes over 100 pages of curriculum programming typically used in Intensive Behavioral Treatment as well as in-depth answers to many questions parents regarding everything one needs to know about running a science-based treatment program.
- Leaf, Ron and John McEachin. A work in Progress: Behavior Management Strategies and a Curriculum for Intensive Behavioral Treatment of Autism. New York, NY: DRL Books, LLC, 1999.
This is a book which goes into great detail about Intensive Behavioral Treatment and provides a sample curriculum based on the practices of Autism Partnership, which is a company that sets up and maintains intensive behavioral treatment programs world-wide. The two authors both received their Ph.D.’s while studying at U.C.L.A. and working in the Young Autism Clinic under the direction of Dr. Lovaas.
- Maurice, Catherine, Gina Green, and Richard M. Foxx (eds). Making a Difference: Behavioral Intervention for Autism. Austin, Texas, Pro-Ed, 2001.
This is a book that expands upon the work in the original Maurice book, Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism (above). Each chapter addresses important topics that parents who maintain and manage intensive treatment programs care about. From child over-selectivity in eating to autism advocacy, this book covers a broad range of topics.
- Freeman, Sabrina and Lorelei Dake. Teach Me Language: A language manual for children with autism, Asperger’s syndrome and related developmental disorders. Langley, B.C., SKF Books, Inc., 1997.
This book is used by parents, speech therapists, behavioral consultants and/or trainers as part of a therapy program where language difficulties are being addressed. After the child has made considerable progress with respect to language, typically after being part of an intensive behavioral treatment program, this book can be helpful throughout the lifespan since it is designed to help modify skills that are taught by non-specialized curricula. The book takes many goals of speech and language pathologists and puts them into a form that behavior interventionists can use when working on language and communication. This book is also available in French, Italian, Norwegian and Polish.
- Lovaas, O.I. (1987). “Behavioral treatment and normal educational and intellectual functioning in young autistic children.” Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology, 55, 3-9.
- Lovaas, O. I. The Autistic Child: Language Development Through Behavior modification. New York: Irvington, 1977.
- Lovaas, O.I. & Smith T. (1988). “Intensive behavioral treatment for young autistic children”. In B.B. Lahey & A.E. Kazdin (Eds.), Advances in Clinical Child Psychology, (Vol. II). New York: Plenum Press, Pp. 285-324.
- Lovaas, O.I., & Smith, T. (1989). “A comprehensive behavioral theory of autistic children: Paradigm for research and treatment”, Journal of Behavior Therapy & Experimental Psychiatry, 20, 17-29.
- McEachin, J.J., Smith, T. and Lovaas, O.I. (1993). “Long-term outcome for children with autism who received early intensive behavioral treatment”, American Journal on Mental Retardation, 97, 359-372.
- Smith, et al. (1997). “Intensive behavioral treatment for preschoolers with severe mental retardation and pervasive developmental disorder”, American Journal of Mental Retardation, 102, 238-249.
- Anderson, S.R., et al. (1987). “Intensive home-based early intervention with autistic children. Special Issue: New developments in the treatment of persons exhibiting autism and severe behavior disorders.” Education and Treatment of Children, 352-366.
- Birnbrauer, J.S. and Leach, D.J. (1993). “The Murdoch Early Intervention Program after 2 years.” Behaviour Change, 10, 63-74.
- Sheinkopf, S.J., and Siegel, B. (1998). “Home-based behavioral treatment of young children with autism.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 23, 15-23.
- Smith, T., Green, A., & Wynn, J. (2000). “Randomized trial of intensive early intervention for children with pervasive developmental disorder.” American Journal of Mental Retardation, 105, 269-285.
- Eikeseth, Svein, Smith, Tristram, & Eldevik, Erik Jahr Sigmund. (2002). “Intensive Behavioral Treatment at School for 4- to 7-Year-Old Children with Autism.” Behavior Modification, 26, 49-68.
- Howard, Jane S. , Sparkman, Coleen R., Cohen, Howard G., Green, Gina, & Stanislaw, Harold. (2005). A Comparison of Intensive Behavior Analytic and Eclectic Treatments for Young Children with Autism. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 26 (4), 359-383.
- Sallows, Glen O. & Graupner, Tamlynn D. (2005). Intensive Behavioral Treatment for Children with Autism: Four-Year Outcome and Predictors. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 110 (6), 417-438.
- Cohen, Howard, Amerine-Dickens, Mila, Smith, Tristram. (2006). Early Intensive Behavioral Treatment: Replication of the UCLA Model in a Community Setting. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 27 (2), 145-155.
- Rogers, S. & Vismara, L. (2008). “Evidence-based comprehensive treatments for early autism.” Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 37, 8-38.
- Eldevik, S., Hastings, R.P., Hughes, J.C., Jahr, E., Eikeseth, S., & Cross, S. (2009). “Meta-analysis of early intensive behavioral intervention for children with autism.” Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 38, 439-450.
- Eldevik, S., Hastings, R.P., Hughes, J.C., Jahr, E., Eikeseth, S., & Cross, S. (2010).”Using participant data to extend the evidence base for Intensive Behavioral Intervention for children with autism.” American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 115, 381-405.
- Valenti, Marco et al. (2010). “Intensive intervention for children and adolescents with autism in a community setting in Italy: A single-group longitudinal study.” Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 4, 23. (open source).
- Matson, Johnny L. et al. (2014). “Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions: Selecting behaviors for treatment and assessing treatment effectiveness.” Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(2), 138-142.
- Freeman, Sabrina K. The Complete Guide to Autism Treatments: A Parents Handbook: Make Sure Your Child Gets What Works! Bellingham, WA: SKF Books, Inc., 2011.
The Complete Guide to Autism Treatments was inspired by parents of children afflicted with autism. It teaches parents to be able to ask the right questions and to find the flaws in the science behind the purported treatment, or to find the evidence that, in fact, the treatment is effective. At a minimum, understanding the scientific method will protect thousands of children from quackery and, hopefully, provide parents and professionals with the tools to find treatments that are effective for autism. That’s the goal of this book.
- Foxx, Richard M. and James A. Mulick (2nd Edition). Controversial Therapies for Autism and Intellectual Disabilities: Fad, Fashion, and Science in Professional Practice. New York: Routledge, 2016.
In their own words, “Controversial Therapies for Autism and Intellectual Disabilities, 2nd Edition brings together leading behavioral scientists and practitioners to shed much-needed light on the major controversies surrounding these questions. Expert authors review the origins, perpetuation, and resistance to scrutiny of questionable practices, and offer a clear rationale for appraising the quality of various services.”
On this discussion board, parents from British Columbia and occasionally from across Canada, connect discuss a range of options. This is a valuable board to join since parents share tips on a various issues, from hiring therapists to suing school districts. The FEATBC board will bring you up to speed quickly about the politics of autism treatment in BC and across the country. All the posts have been archived so that new parents understand the advocacy that preceded them, and the fights still to be won for our children.
This organization of active parents meet regularly and will provide extremely valuable information when it comes to setting up and maintaining science-based treatment programs. In addition, they have local knowledge as to which school districts to avoid and have had some success working within the school system.
If you are looking for a behavioral consultant to set up and maintain your program, it’s a good idea to see whether the person you are considering has received a credential from this organization. One of the most important choices you will make regarding your consultant. A BCBA certification does not guarantee that the consultant will do a good job (and indeed, there are BCBA’s in BC who are incompetent, but good at passing exams), this is a good place to start if you cannot find any personal recommendations from parents who use the services of a behavioral consultant. This organization lists consultants all over the world which makes it easier to avoid flying in a consultant from afar.
The Autism Society of BC (ASBC) has gone through many changes. They started off as an advocacy organization for parents of autistic children and were captured for years helping government bureaucrats in their fight against parents who wanted science-based treatment for their children. After the famous Auton lawsuit, the ASBC was taken over by a group of parents who were not anti-treatment. For the last few years, the ASBC has been helpful for parents around the province in bringing them behavioral intervention to outlying areas. If you are a parent living far from the Lower Mainland or Fraser Valley, the ASBC will be of some benefit to you. That said, since the ASBC receives considerable money from the government, they are limited in the good they can do when it comes to advocacy.
ASAT’s mission (in their words): “We promote safe, effective, science-based treatments for people with autism by disseminating accurate, timely, and scientifically sound information, advocating for the use of scientific methods to guide treatment, and combating unsubstantiated, inaccurate and false information about autism and its treatment.”
The original FEAT was established in 1996. On this website, parents can find links to the active FEAT organizations across North America.
This is a group of parents who run Intensive Behavioral Treatment programs across North America. Prior to Facebook, this group provided coordination and sustenance to parents geographically dispersed. Today there are many groups that have organized all over the world, similar to the original ME-List.