(Marcus et al., 1978) and child progress (Schopler et al., 1982). There have been a number of studies describing progress in follow-up samples of young children who received services at TEACCH (Venter et al., 1992), and substantial IQ score gains have been commonly reported for nonverbal children who were diagnosed at early ages (Lord and Schopler, 1989). However, these studies are not direct evaluations of treatment outcomes.
Most recently, a 10-hour home-based TEACCH program training teachers to serve young children with autism was compared with a discrete-trial classroom without the home-based program (Ozonoff and Cathcart, 1998). The focus of intervention in both programs was cognitive, academic, and prevocational skills. Following 4 months of intervention, the group served in the TEACCH home-based program showed more improvement than the comparison group on imitation, on fine and gross motor skills, and on tests of nonverbal conceptual skills.
Although the UCLA program has generated the most rigorously controlled early intervention research published to date, there has been considerable controversy due to various methodological and interpretational limitations (Gresham and MacMillan, 1997). In the original report (Lovaas, 1987), 38 children with autism were divided into two treatment groups: half of the children received intervention for at least 40 hours per week for 2 or more years, and the other half received the same intervention for less than 10 hours per week. There was a second comparison group who received treatment outside of the UCLA program. Nine of the 19 children who received intensive intervention showed IQ gains of at least 20 points. Gains were far less for children in both of the comparison groups.
The Young Autism Project has also reported the longest follow-up tracking of children with autism who have received intensive early intervention (McEachin et al., 1993). By age 13, eight of the nine high-outcome children from the Lovaas (1987) study continued to have high IQ scores, and they were functioning unsupported in regular education classrooms. In contrast, only one child who received less intensive intervention had a “best outcome.”
Several peer-reviewed evaluations have been conducted of replications of the Young Autism Project (Anderson et al., 1987; Birnbrauer and Leach, 1993; Sheinkopf and Siegel, 1998; Smith et al., 2000b). The replication results have been generally positive but mixed. With fewer hours of intervention, some of the replication programs were able to achieve similarly high IQ sore gains; results were more variable on other measures. For example, the most recent replication (Smith et al., 2000b), which served both children with autism and children with pervasive developmental