A Retrospective Evaluation of a Community Based Applied Behaviour Analysis Service for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder
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Limited research exists on the use of applied behaviour analysis to treat problem behaviour of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in real world clinical settings. A retrospective file-review study was conducted to examine the clinical processes and behavioural outcomes for children and youth with ASD in a community-based ABA service (ABAS) for treating problem behaviour. Intervention plans included the function of the behaviour for 91% of clients. The majority of plans (91%) included prevention, skill development, and intervention strategies. Outcome measurement focused on either functional replacement skills (52%) or problem behaviour (48%). Moderate decreases (57%) in problem behaviour, and substantial increases (84%) in replacement behaviours were observed for percentage change outcomes. Large effect sizes (Cohen’s d=>0.8) were observed for decreases in problem behaviour (d= 1.23) and as increases in replacement skills (d=-6.80). Positive and meaningful outcomes were achieved for the vast majority of clients in this sample participating in ABAS.