Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 210-220

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Outcomes of Behavioral Intervention for Children with Autism in Mainstream Pre-School Settings

  • Sigmund EldevikAffiliated withAkershus University CollegeSenter for Tidlig Intervensjon (STI) Email author 
  • , Richard P. HastingsAffiliated withBangor University
  • , Erik JahrAffiliated withAkershus University Hospital
  • , J. Carl HughesAffiliated withBangor University


We evaluated outcomes for 31 children with autism (2–6 years of age at intake) who received behavioral intervention in mainstream pre-school settings and a comparison group of 12 children receiving treatment as usual. After 2 years, children receiving behavioral intervention had higher IQ scores (Hedges g = 1.03 (95% CI = .34, 1.72) and adaptive behavior composite scores (Hedges g = .73 (95% CI = .05, 1.36). Despite probably fewer intervention hours, these group level outcomes were comparable to studies providing more intensive intervention. Individual child data also showed positive results with 19.4% achieving change at a reliable level for IQ; but a lower percentage than found in recent meta-analysis research. Strengths and weaknesses of the mainstream pre-school delivery model are discussed.


Early intensive behavioral intervention Autism Mainstream setting Pre-school Effectiveness