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Lovaas Model of Applied Behavior Analysis
Early Childhood Education for Children with Disabilities

The Lovaas Model was found to have potentially positive effects on cognitive development for children with disabilities and no discernible effects for communication/language competencies, social-emotional development/behavior, and functional abilities. No studies that meet WWC evidence standards with or without reservations examined the effectiveness of the Lovaas Model on children with disabilities in the literacy, math competencies, or physical well-being domains.

The Lovaas Model of Applied Behavior Analysis is a type of behavioral therapy that initially focuses on discrete trials: brief periods of one-on-one instruction, during which a teacher cues a behavior, prompts the appropriate response, and provides reinforcement to the child. Children in the program receive an average of 35–40 hours of intervention per week that consists of in-home one-to-one instruction, facilitated peer play, inclusion and support in regular education classrooms, and generalization activities for transfer of skills to natural environments. In addition, parents are trained in instructional techniques. The intervention generally lasts about 3 years.

Findings

2
studies that met standards out of
8
eligible studies reviewed
Outcome Domain Effectiveness Rating Grades Improvement Index
Cognition Potentially positive effects PK
 
 
27
Communication/ Language No discernible effects PK --
Functional abilities No discernible effects PK --
Social-emotional development No discernible effects PK --

Last Updated: August 2010

Race

Asian
14%
Black
14%
White
50%

Ethnicity

Hispanic
21%
Not Hispanic
79%

Gender

Male: 82%
Female: 17%

Delivery Method

whole class icon
Individual

Urbanicity

Urban

Locations

WI, CA
Midwest, West


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