• Predictors of Outcome for Children with Autism Receiving a Behavioral Intervention

      Connell, James; Rotheram-Fuller, Erin; DuCette, Joseph P.; Fiorello, Catherine A.; Fiorello, Philip N. (Temple University. Libraries, 2013)
      Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are associated with many different levels of language and social impairment, differences in levels of cognitive impairment, varying levels of aberrant behavior, and discrepancies in the presence or amount of restrictive and repetitive behavior. The heterogeneity found within the ASD population is coupled with significant heterogeneity in outcome for these individuals. Although interventions based on the principles of applied behavior analysis have been repeatedly cited as evidence-based for individuals with autism, significant discrepancies in outcome are evident within the literature. The heterogeneity in treatment outcome has been hypothesized as related to the heterogeneity of children included within the autism spectrum as well as differences related to treatment variables. The current study evaluated individual child characteristics and differences related to intervention intensity and fidelity as predictors of outcome after one year of exposure to a behaviorally based intervention. The primary goal of this study was to identify individual and treatment level characteristics that were predictive of differences in outcome for children with ASD. Information was gathered from a total of 368 students with autism spectrum disorders in kindergarten through second grade classrooms in the School District of Philadelphia. Correlational analyses and multiple regression analyses indicated that increased levels of expressive language skills at the start of the intervention year were correlated with and predictive of improved outcome. However, no other child level variables were related to differential outcomes. Additionally, higher levels of treatment intensity and treatment fidelity were associated with improved outcome.