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Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 544–560 | Cite as

Randomized, Controlled Trial of a Comprehensive Program for Young Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Helen E. Young
  • Ruth A. Falco
  • Makoto Hanita
Original Paper

Abstract

This randomized, controlled trial, comparing the Comprehensive Autism Program (CAP) and business as usual programs, studied outcomes for 3–5 year old students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Participants included 84 teachers and 302 students with ASD and their parents. CAP utilized specialized curricula and training components to implement specific evidence-based practices both at school and home. A comprehensive set of outcome areas was studied. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to estimate the treatment impact. CAP had small positive impacts on the students’ receptive language (effect size of .13) and on their social skills as rated by teachers (effect size of .19). Treatment effects were moderated by severity of ASD.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Comprehensive treatment model Evidence-based practices Hierarchical linear modeling Randomized controlled trial School-based intervention 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank project staff, who served as trainers, assessors, and office personnel: Jocelyn Bray, Mindy Campbell, Mikal’ Davis, David Krug, Laurel Oliver-Gilmore, Jennifer Reinmuth, Tiffany Sanford, Corrine Young, and numerous student research assistants. We also thank our consultants, Richard Simpson, Aubyn Stahmer, and Michael Coe, for their thoughtful advice. Finally, we thank the numerous school districts, educators, children, and families who participated in this project.

Author Contributions

HEY led implementation and coordination of the study, participated in the statistical analysis and interpretation of the data, and drafted major sections of the manuscript; RAF participated in implementation of the study, contributed to interpretation of the data, and drafted major sections of the manuscript; MH led the statistical analysis, contributed to interpretation of the data and writing of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding

This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Award Number R324A090094.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Helen E. Young declares no conflict of interest. Ruth A. Falco is a joint-author of the STAR Program (Arick et al. 2004); she receives royalties from the publisher, PRO-ED. Makoto Hanita declares no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen E. Young
    • 1
  • Ruth A. Falco
    • 1
  • Makoto Hanita
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Special Education, Graduate School of EducationPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Education NorthwestPortlandUSA

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