Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 366–380 | Cite as

Comparative Efficacy of LEAP, TEACCH and Non-Model-Specific Special Education Programs for Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Brian A. BoydEmail author
  • Kara Hume
  • Matthew T. McBee
  • Michael Alessandri
  • Anibal Gutierrez
  • LeAnne Johnson
  • Laurie Sperry
  • Samuel L. Odom
Original Paper


LEAP and TEACCH represent two comprehensive treatment models (CTMs) that have been widely used across several decades to educate young children with autism spectrum disorders. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to compare high fidelity LEAP (n = 22) and TEACCH (n = 25) classrooms to each other and a control condition (n = 28), in which teachers in high quality special education programs used non-model-specific practices. A total of 198 children were included in data analysis. Across conditions, children’s performances improved over time. This study raises issues of the replication of effects for CTMs, and whether having access to a high quality special education program is as beneficial as access to a specific CTM.


Comparative effectiveness Comprehensive treatments Efficacy Intervention LEAP TEACCH 



The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education through Grant R324B070219 awarded to UNC-Chapel Hill. The opinions expressed represent those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the US Department of Education. At the time the study was conducted, Dr. Matthew McBee was at the UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. Anibal Gutierrez was at the University of Miami and Dr. Laurie Sperry was at the University of Colorado-Denver. Finally, we wish to thank all of the families, teachers and other school personnel who participated in this study.

Supplementary material

10803_2013_1877_MOESM1_ESM.doc (34 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 34 kb)
10803_2013_1877_MOESM2_ESM.doc (98 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 98 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian A. Boyd
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kara Hume
    • 2
  • Matthew T. McBee
    • 3
  • Michael Alessandri
    • 4
    • 5
  • Anibal Gutierrez
    • 6
  • LeAnne Johnson
    • 7
  • Laurie Sperry
    • 8
  • Samuel L. Odom
    • 9
    • 10
  1. 1.Division of Occupational Science and Occupational TherapyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.FPG Child Development InstituteUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Educational and Quantitative PsychologyEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA
  4. 4.Center for Autism and Related DisabilitiesUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA
  5. 5.Department of Psychology and PediatricsUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA
  6. 6.Department of PsychologyFlorida International UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  7. 7.Special Education ProgramsUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  8. 8.Autism Centre of Excellence, School of Arts, Education and LawGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  9. 9.FGP Child Development CenterUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  10. 10.School of EducationUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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