FIGURE 1–3 Generalization.

NOTES: Level I represents the strongest methodological controls and IV the least strong (see Box 1–1); N is the number of studies.

SOURCES: For social studies, McConnell (1999); for communication studies, Goldstein (1999); for problem behavior studies, Horner (2000); for intervention studies, Kasari (2000); for sensory-motor studies (Baranek, 1999).

children with autism was considered. The committee’s strategy in assessing the effectiveness of components of intervention programs and approaches was to consider, along with the findings of individual research papers, the methodological challenges that many clinical studies face in attempting to control for nonspecific factors, selection biases, and the difficulty in measuring meaningful, generalizable outcomes. Some aspects of interventions, particularly short-term, problem-focused treatments, are much more easily researched than longer-term interventions aimed at more multifaceted concerns (American Psychological Association, 2000). The committee summarized results across areas of interest and approaches to intervention, taking these factors into account. The goal was to integrate this information into a coherent picture of appropriate educational interventions for young children within the autism spectrum, and to acknowledge points of convergence and points of controversy to be addressed in future educational research, practice, and policy. There are no strong studies that compare one comprehensive intervention program with another. Because programs are evolving (and better approaches may be developed in the future), the committee chose to focus on discussion of the effective components and features of each program—

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