Longer Hours Spent in Intervention Not Always Better for Toddlers with Autism

Study Shows 15-Hours vs. 25-Hours Programs per Week Had Similar Impact

Until now, clinicians had no data to rely upon to guide parents of newly diagnosed toddlers with autism on the number of hours required to make behavioral improvements. That has just changed due to UC Davis Health’s newly published study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry which gives nervous parents new guidelines on early intervention. The  UC Davis Health study compared one full year of two prominent early intervention programs. Toddlers in this study received either the Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) or Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) programs. Both interventions are one-on-one therapies. The study’s design included one group of toddlers receiving 15 hours a week of their assigned therapy and the other group of toddlers received 25 hours a week of their assigned therapy. In the end, the research team concluded that neither style nor the intensity of the intervention had a differing effect on the toddler’s behavioral outcomes and improvements. The researchers pointed out that these findings apply only to toddler-aged children and may not be applicable to older children. 

Original Article

Original Study Abstract

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