Sunday, October 21, 2007

Autism Quote of the Decade - 2nd Place - MADSEC Autism Task Force Report ABA Conclusion

Conclusions
There is a wealth of validated and peer-reviewed studies supporting the efficacy of ABA
methods to improve and sustain socially significant behaviors in every domain, in individuals
with autism. Importantly, results reported include “meaningful” outcomes such as increased
social skills, communication skills academic performance, and overall cognitive functioning.
These reflect clinically-significant quality of life improvements. While studies varied as to the
magnitude of gains, all have demonstrated long term retention of gains made.
Other major contributions of ABA to the education and treatment of individuals with autism
include:
a large number of empirically-based systematic instruction methods that lead to the
acquisition of skills, and to the decrease/elimination of aberrant behaviors;
a technology for systematically evaluating the efficacy of interventions intended to affect
individual learning and behavior; and
substantial cost/benefit.
Over 30 years of rigorous research and peer review of applied behavior analysis’ effectiveness
for individuals with autism demonstrate ABA has been objectively substantiated as effective
based upon the scope and quality of science. Professionals considering applied behavior
analysis should portray the method as objectively substantiated as effective. Methods of applied
behavior analysis should be considered to evaluate the effectiveness of any intervention used to
help individuals with autism. Researchers should continue to vigorously investigate behavioral
intervention as the most promising area of research and treatment benefitting individuals with
autism known today. Early interventionists should leverage early autism diagnosis with the
proven efficacy of intensive ABA for optimal outcome and long-term cost benefit.

Conclusions
There is a wealth of validated and peer-reviewed studies supporting the efficacy of ABA
methods to improve and sustain socially significant behaviors in every domain, in individuals
with autism. Importantly, results reported include “meaningful” outcomes such as increased
social skills, communication skills academic performance, and overall cognitive functioning.
These reflect clinically-significant quality of life improvements. While studies varied as to the
magnitude of gains, all have demonstrated long term retention of gains made.
Other major contributions of ABA to the education and treatment of individuals with autism
include:
a large number of empirically-based systematic instruction methods that lead to the
acquisition of skills, and to the decrease/elimination of aberrant behaviors;
a technology for systematically evaluating the efficacy of interventions intended to affect
individual learning and behavior; and
substantial cost/benefit.
Over 30 years of rigorous research and peer review of applied behavior analysis’ effectiveness
for individuals with autism demonstrate ABA has been objectively substantiated as effective
based upon the scope and quality of science. Professionals considering applied behavior
analysis should portray the method as objectively substantiated as effective. Methods of applied
behavior analysis should be considered to evaluate the effectiveness of any intervention used to
help individuals with autism. Researchers should continue to vigorously investigate behavioral
intervention as the most promising area of research and treatment benefitting individuals with
autism known today. Early interventionists should leverage early autism diagnosis with the
proven efficacy of intensive ABA for optimal outcome and long-term cost benefit.

Conclusions

There is a wealth of validated and peer-reviewed studies supporting the efficacy of ABA methods to improve and sustain socially significant behaviors in every domain, in individuals with autism. Importantly, results reported include “meaningful” outcomes such as increased social skills, communication skills academic performance, and overall cognitive functioning. These reflect clinically-significant quality of life improvements. While studies varied as to the magnitude of gains, all have demonstrated long term retention of gains made.

...

Over 30 years of rigorous research and peer review of applied behavior analysis’ effectiveness for individuals with autism demonstrate ABA has been objectively substantiated as effective based upon the scope and quality of science. Professionals considering applied behavior analysis should portray the method as objectively substantiated as effective. Methods of applied behavior analysis should be considered to evaluate the effectiveness of any intervention used to help individuals with autism. Researchers should continue to vigorously investigate behavioral intervention as the most promising area of research and treatment benefitting individuals with autism known today. Early interventionists should leverage early autism diagnosis with the proven efficacy of intensive ABA for optimal outcome and long-term cost benefit.

- Report of the MADSEC Autism Task Force, 2000

9 comments:

Joseph said...

It just comes to show that even respected authorities with PhDs and such are unable to grasp flaws in research methodology, don't realize the importance of randomization and blinding, and don't see the significance of a complete lack of adult outcome studies; in addition to ignoring studies that do not support the conclusions stated.

Autism Reality NB said...

Yeah, sure joe.

All those hundreds of studies showing meaningful gains by autistic children receiving ABA are absolutely invalid. And all the hundreds of experts who endorse the interpretation offered by the MADSEC report of those studies are wrong and you, Joseph, are right.

You don't seem to understand the concept of evidence based interventions in medicine or education joseph.

Joseph said...

I don't think you do, Harold. There is such a thing as scientific standards. If non-controlled and non-randomized studies were enough to make treatments "evidence based", a lot of quackery could easily get in the door, and we'd end up with a lot of "evidence based" woo.

Autism Reality NB said...

I am sorry Joseph but you clearly don't understand that there is more than one type of scientific evidence. The randomized trial approach which you insist on for ABA would be difficult to do today because parents are well informed and would not want their autistic child to risk being placed in a control group without actual effective intervention for several years.

But there are other types of scientific evidence and that fact is recognized in modern evidence based approaches to health interventions which seeks to use the interventions best supported by scientific evidence as treatments.
This approach categorizes the various types of evidence. You can review these categories yourself on Wikipedia's entry on evidence based evidence.

The authors of the MADSEC Autism Task Force Report examined hundreds of studies which produced scientific evidence showing gains for autistic children receiving ABA.

Joseph said...

Difficulty is not a good excuse to lower scientific standards. The same excuse could be used for diets and something like HBOT.

Autism Reality NB said...

joseph

No one has lowered any scientific standards. There are different types of evidence. You ignore the hundreds of studies, and the parents' anecdotal evidence, of gains for autistic children resulting from ABA.

You cling to the randomized, double blind, study as the only acceptable means of scientific study. By that measure you would discard ALL single subject studies as one example.

You would also ignore the ethical issues arising from providing autistic children with a placebo intervention thus depriving them, without their parents' knowledge of the opportunity to receive an intervention - ABA - which has been shown to produce positive gains for their autistic children.

Try to let go of your ideology and look at the evidence joseph. Children today are being helped by ABA.

Joseph said...

You misunderstand science if you think ABA is above criticism. I analyze the ABA scientific standards here.

Autism Reality NB said...

"You misunderstand science if you think ABA is above criticism"

I didn't say ABA was above criticism Joseph. You are refuting an argument I didn't make. I am pointing out that your argument rejects all scientific evidence EXCEPT randomized double blind studies. Your position is a rejection of evidence based health interventions. AND your position presents serious ethical issues which you have not addressed.

Anonymous said...

Joe: I think you should review "single case experimental design". I dont think you appreciate how research is conducted.