ABA Research References and Summaries

The following research concerns EIBI (Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention) which is ABA as applied to young children with autism.

Note: Many of the terms here are now outdated but have been left here for reference purposes.


Reference   Key Aspects
Estes A et al. (2015). Long-Term Outcomes of Early Intervention in 6-Year-Old Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(7), 580-587. These results provide evidence that gains from early intensive intervention are maintained 2 years later. Notably, core autism symptoms improved in the ESDM group over the follow-up period relative to the COM group.
Haglund, N. et al. (2020). ‘Improvement of Autism Symptoms After Comprehensive Intensive Early Interventions in Community Settings’, Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. doi: 10.1177/1078390320915257. The change in the NDBI group versus the change in the comparison group was statistically significant after adjusting for possible confounders as well.
Howard J. et al. (2014). Comparison of behavior analytic and eclectic early interventions for young children with autism after three years, Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35(12), 3326-3344. With few exceptions, the benefits of IBT documented in our first study were sustained throughout Years 2 and 3. At their final assessment, children who received IBT were more than twice as likely to score in the normal range on measures of cognitive, language, and adaptive functioning than were children who received either form of eclectic intervention.
Stock R et al, (2013). Comparison of community-based verbal behavior and pivotal response treatment programs for young children with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Volume 7(9), 1168-1181. Both behavioural approaches hold promise as effective early intervention approaches that are also relatively cost-effective.
Dixon, M.R., Paliliunas, D., Barron, B.F. et al. (2019). Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluation of ABA Content on IQ Gains in Children with Autism. J Behav Educ. Skill acquisition improved equally across both (ABA) intervention groups compared to the control
Sinai-Gavrilov Y, Gev T, Mor-Snir I, Vivanti G, Golan O. Integrating the Early Start Denver Model into Israeli community autism spectrum disorder preschools: Effectiveness and treatment response predictors. Autism. 2020;24(8):2081-2093. Compared to the multidisciplinary developmental intervention group, children in the preschool-based Early Start Denver Model treatment made greater gains on blinded measures of overall cognitive development, receptive and expressive language skills, as well as on parent- and teacher-reported adaptive communication and socialization abilities.
Keenan, M., Dillenburger, K., Röttgers, H.-R., Dounavi, K., Jónsdóttir, S. L., Moderato, P., Schenk, J.-A.-M., Virués-Ortega, J., Roll-Pettersson, L., & Martin, N. (2015). Autism and ABA: The gulf between North America and Europe.. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2(2), 167–183. Interventions that are based on Applied Behaviour Analysis are significantly related to best outcomes and are widely considered ‘treatment as usual’ in North America. In Europe, this is not the case.
Cohen, H., et al., (2006) Early intensive behavioral treatment: Replication of the UCLA Model in a community setting. Developmental and Behavioral Paediatrics, 27, 145–155. ABA vs. standard/ eclectic education
Eikeseth, S., (2009) Outcome of comprehensive psycho-educational interventions for young children with autism. Research Developmental Disabilities 30 (1): 158–78. Shows advantages of ABA over TEACCH
Eikeseth, S., et al., (2002) Intensive behavioral treatment at school for 4–7-year-old children with autism: A 1-year comparison controlled study. Behavior Modification, 26, 49–68. Support for ABA for older children. Shows ABA successful in school setting
Eikeseth, S., et al., (2007) Outcome for children with autism who began intensive behavioral treatment between age four and seven: A comparison controlled study. Behavior Modification, 31, 264–278. Older children. ABA vs. standard/ eclectic education
Eikeseth, S., et al., (2009) Intensity of supervision and outcome for preschool aged children receiving early and intensive behavioural interventions: A preliminary study. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 3 (2009) 67–73. Demonstrates effectiveness of ABA-based treatment
Hayward, D., et al., (2009) Assessing progress during treatment for young children with autism receiving intensive behavioural interventions Autism Vol 13(6) 613–633. UK based. Demonstrated factors affecting treatment outcomes
Eldevik, S., et al., (2009) Meta-analysis of Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention for children with autism. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 38 (3): 439–50. Rebuked an EIBI study by Speckley & Boyd asserting that EIBI was not better than eclectic
Grindle, C. F., et al., (2009) Parents’ Experiences of Home-Based Applied Behaviour Analysis Programmes for Young Children with Autism. J Autism Dev Disord (2009) 39:42–56. Majority of parents felt ABA was the right decision
Howard, J. S., et al., (2005) A comparison of intensive behaviour analytic and eclectic treatment for young children with autism. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 26, 359–383. ABA vs. standard/ eclectic education
International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment (2001) Behavioral Interventions for Preschool Children with Autism. Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment (CCOHTA) Technology Report, Issue 18, August 2001. Found EIBI effective
Mudford, O., et al., (2009) Technical review of published research on applied behaviour analysis interventions for people with autism spectrum disorders: Auckland Uniservices Ltd. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education. Showed ABA 98% effective
New Zealand Guidelines Group. The effectiveness of applied behaviour analysis interventions for people with autism spectrum disorder. Systematic Review. Wellington; (2008) ABA vs. standard/ eclectic education
Reichow, B., et al., (2009) Comprehensive synthesis of early intensive behavioral interventions for young children with autism based on the UCLA Young Autism Project model. J Autism Dev Disord 31 (1): 23–41. Analysis of outcome data
Remington, B., et al., (2007) A field effectiveness study of early intensive behavioral intervention: Outcomes for children with autism and their parents after two years. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 112, 418–438. ABA vs. standard/ eclectic education
Roberts, J. M., (2003) A review of the research to identify the most effective models of best practice in the management of children with autism spectrum disorders. Sydney: Centre for Developmental Disability Studies. ABA vs. other autism treatments
Sallows, G., et al., (2005) Intensive behavioral treatment for children with autism: four-year outcome and predictors. Am J Ment Retard 110 (6): 417–38. 48% of children who received EIBI succeeded in regular classrooms
Smith, T., et al., (2000) Randomized trial of intensive early intervention for children with pervasive developmental disorder. American Journal on Mental Retardation 105: 269-285. ABA vs. Parent training
National Autism Center, (2009) National Standards Report – Addressing the need for evidence-based practice guidelines for Autism Spectrum Disorders. National Autism Center Reviewed 775 studies over 50 years and supported use of ABA
Rogers, S. J., Vismara LA, (2008) Evidence-based comprehensive treatments for early autism. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 37 (1): 8–38. Showed ABA helps with core symptoms of autism