Sunday, March 1. 2009
Posted under: Research
Ever since the 1987 Lovaas study, a lot of attention has been paid to the way in which behavioral treatment occurs in a 1:1 setting. Ongoing research is helping us recognize which procedures or guidelines are helpful when teaching a particular skill or teaching a child with particular characteristics. However, all of this attention on behavioral treatment in a 1:1 setting has made it easy to forget that Dr. Lovaas’ behavioral treatment program was not simply 1:1 treatment. That’s one of the reasons I reject labeling Dr. Lovaas’ work as synonymous with Discrete Trial Teaching. In both the 1987 study and replication studies of 2005 and 2006, the treatment progressed to include play dates with peers and time in school. These interactions were carefully planned, were initially facilitated by a trained aide, and included systematic progression that required just as much time and effort as the 1:1 treatment. It is unfortunate when a behavioral treatment program places all of its emphasis on the 1:1 treatment component while ignoring the importance of these other critical elements of treatment.