Common treatment models prove effective for preschoolers with autism

Researchers found that preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) make significant improvements during the school year regardless of which special education model teachers use.

Two frequently used comprehensive treatment models have long histories in the field and are used frequently in the public school system. They are the Learning Experiences and Alternative Program for Preschoolers and their parents (LEAP) and the Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH).

Anibal Gutierrez, assistant professor of psychology and co-director of the Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention program, is a co-author in the study which compares the LEAP and TEACCH models to each other and to other non-model specific programs (NMS). NMS programs are high-quality special education programs that do not use the LEAP or TEACCH models. Published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, this study is the first to do such a comparison.

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