Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


Sixth Annual Autism Conference; Philadelphia, PA; 2012

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #8
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Randomized, Control Trial of the LEAP Model of Intervention for Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Saturday, January 28, 2012
9:15 AM–10:15 AM
Grand Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Phillip S. Strain, Ph.D.
PHILLIP S. STRAIN (University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center)
Phil Strain, Ph.D., is professor of educational psychology and psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver and director of the Positive Early Learning Experiences Center. He is the author of more than 300 professional papers in the early intervention field, has served on the editorial boards of more than 20 professional journals, has been the principal investigator of grants totaling more than $50 million, and has been recognized with distinguished career awards on three separate occasions. He authored the original grant that funded the development of the LEAP model in 1980 and recently received funding to conduct a long-term follow-up on participants in the randomized trial.

The lecture will provide an overview of the design, procedures, and results of what is to date the largest randomized trial conducted on any comprehensive early intervention model in the autism field. Inclusive classrooms from around the USA were randomly assigned to receive either intervention manuals alone or manuals and two years of intensive coaching to ensure high fidelity use of all LEAP practices. In all some 300 children participated in the study. At the end of 2 years large, statistically significant differences were found on all measures in favor of the full implementation group. Specifically, children who experienced full LEAP implementation showed significant reductions in autism symptoms; improved verbal language, social skills, and cognition; and sharp reductions in problem behavior. These data will be contrasted with the four other randomized trials available at the early childhood level.

Target Audience:

Certified behavior analysts, behavioral consultants, behavioral therapists, clinicians, educational consultants, psychologists, special education teachers, and individuals working with children with autism or other developmental delays.

Learning Objectives: forthcoming



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