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Educating Children with Autism
Although this program regularly collects a comprehensive set of both observational and standardized measures of child progress, outcomes have been reported primarily in non-peer-reviewed book chapters (Romanczyk et al., 1994, 2000). There have also been a number of controlled evaluations of the computer data systems, staff training efforts, and clinical procedures (Romanczyk, 1984; Taylor et al., 1994; Taylor and Romanczyk, 1994), but these are beyond the scope of the model outcome data considered here.
There are at least four peer-reviewed outcome reports on the Denver Model, including the evaluation of a comprehensive training model described above (Rogers and DiLalla, 1991; Rogers et al., 1986; Rogers and Lewis, 1988; Rogers et al., 1987). An evaluation of the progress of 49 children treated in the Denver Playschool Model reported better than predicted gains in all developmental areas assessed by the Early Intervention Developmental Profile and Preschool Profile (Schafer and Moersch, 1981), with the exception of self-help skills. The developmental assessment was based on ratings by classroom teachers obtained early and late in treatment (Rogers and DiLalla, 1991). In addition, impressive language gains were demonstrated on standardized language assessments (one of five commonly used instruments) conducted by the children’s speech and language pathologists.
An earlier assessment of the progress of the first 31 children treated in this model revealed small but statistically significant improvements in symbolic and social and communicative play skills, as rated on an objective observational system by blind observers (Rogers and Lewis, 1988). Moreover, there were indications that the intervention had impacted the severity of autism, as measured in the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS).
Douglass Developmental Center
There have been four peer-reviewed publications of data on the Douglass Center (Handleman and Harris, 2000; Harris et al., 1990, 1991, 1995). These studies include documentation of progress as measured on the Stanford-Binet (Thorndike et al., 1986), the Preschool Language Scale (Zimmerman et al., 1979), and the Vineland (Sparrow et al., 1984).
The most recent report is on 27 children who entered intervention between the ages of 31 and 65 months (Handleman and Harris, 2000). After 4–6 years following termination of intervention, the children’s place-