Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cautionary Words

This article lists some research on "eclectic therapies" (sensory integration, music sessions, and circle time) compared to more traditional approaches (applied behavior analysis) to treating autism.
"Two recent studies published in professional journals compared the use of an applied behavior analysis approach to eclectic mixtures of procedures. Janet Howard and Svein Eikeseth and their colleagues conducted the studies in 2002 and 2005. Both presented one group of children with an applied behavior analysis program that emphasized the use of proven techniques, such as shaping, prompting and positive reinforcement in structured, informal one-on-one and group settings. A second group of children received a variety of teaching procedures, including applied behavior analysis, sensory integration, music sessions, and circle time. All children received treatment for about 30 hours per week.
At follow-up, the children receiving the non-eclectic applied behavior analysis program scored higher and had made more progress than the children in the other groups. Findings were reported in areas of language, communication, social skills, independence and problem behaviors. "

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