Date of Award

4-21-2014

Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Department of Psychology: School Psychology

First Advisor

Karla Doepke

Abstract

This investigation examines the cognitive, adaptive, communicative, social and autism-related outcomes for those enrolled in an early childhood intervention program for children age three to five with autism spectrum disorders. First, relevant literature on autism spectrum disorders, early intervention, evidence-based practice, and published investigations of existing comprehensive treatment programs for young children with autism are reviewed, the current investigation is outlined, and results and implications are discussed.

Using developmental trajectory analyses to investigate changes in each child's trajectory over time, as well as by comparing changes in scores over time on standardized measures of communication, adaptive skills, cognitive skills, social skills, and autism-related symptoms, the current study evaluated a comprehensive treatment program for young children with autism by examining the outcomes for those children enrolled over a 9-month span of treatment. Results indicated that overall, children enrolled displayed significant positive increases in skill development across the several areas assessed. Consideration of this matter is critical to ensure that treatment programs for children with autism are evidence-based, appropriate, and successfully address the challenges faced by young children with autism spectrum disorders. The positive outcomes observed in the current study add to the research on comprehensive treatment models, and suggests that the current model can improve the overall developmental trajectories for children enrolled. This has important implications for the future development and replication of comprehensive treatment programs for children with autism.

Comments

Imported from ProQuest Toby_ilstu_0092E_10260.pdf

Page Count

186

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