Cure Autism Now: Autism Research Funded By NIH | Nov. 5, 1996

[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]


Principal Investigator:

LOVAAS, OLE I

UCLA

405 HILGARD AVE

LOS ANGELES, CA 90024-1563 Performing Organization: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES


Amount: $35,018 per year


Title: MULTISITE YOUNG AUTISM PROJECT
Grant Expires in : 3 Fiscal Year(s)


Abstract:
AUTISM is a severely handicapping condition with onset in early childhood. Most persons with AUTISM require lifelong supervised or institutional care. They exhibit deviant and/or delayed development in intellectual, social, emotional, and self-help skills, often accompanied by high rates of aggression, self injurious, and ritualistic behaviors. Several recent studies have reported favorable outcome of early and intensive behavioral intervention in AUTISM.

Of these studies, the Lovaas (1987) study has had the most comprehensive and long term follow-up (McEachin, Smith, & Lovaas, 1993). This study also contained a number of methodological safeguards.

Follow-up data show that an intensively treated group (n=19) of preschool aged children with AUTISM achieved major gains in intellectual and academic functioning, in contrast to a similarly constituted control group who did not evidence such improvement. The proposed research will test the replicability across three sites of the favorable treatment outcome in the Lovaas (1987) study.

The three sites (University of Oslo, Bancroft Schools, and the Alta California Regional Center) have each submitted letters of intent to collaborate. The sites are well prepared and have secured adequate referrals of subjects and financial support. Supervisory staff from sites will be trained in treatment and assessment at the UCLA site.

Strict quality control measures will assure that assessment and treatment are uniform across sites. The proposed research employs an experimental design and methodological safeguards. Ninety subjects (30 from each site) will be randomly assigned into either an intensively treated experimental group or a parent training control group, each with 45 subjects. The experimental group will receive 35 hours a week of 1:1 behavioral treatment in their homes and community for 2 years. The control group will receive parent training for 6 months. Subjects will be between 24 – 42 months of age at intake, have a diagnosis of AUTISM, and obtain a ratio IQ above 35. A large number of normed psychological tests will assess intellectual, academic, social, emotional, and self help skills before, during, and after treatment. Three hypotheses are tested.

First, independent sites can reliably and validly replicate the diagnostic, assessment, and treatment procedures used at the UCLA sites. Second, independent sites can produce significant increases in intellectual, academic, language, adaptive, and socioemotional functioning after intensive treatment. Third, subjects who achieve the best outcome in the experimental group can be identified based on pretreatment assessment.


Principal Investigator:

LORD, CATHERINE

UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

5841 SOUTH MARYLAND AVE, MC 30

CHICAGO, IL 60637 Performing Organization: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Amount: $100,278 per year


Title: DIAGNOSIS AND FOLLOWUP STUDIES OF AUTISTIC CHILDREN
Grant Expires in : 3 Fiscal Year(s)
NO ABSTRACT AVAILABLE.


Principal Investigator:

DAWSON, GERALDINE

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

PO BOX 351525

SEATTLE, WA 98195-1525 Performing Organization: UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Amount: $155,400 per year


Title: NEUROPSYCHOLOGY OF AUTISM


Grant Expires in : This Fiscal Year


Abstract:
Among the early impairments typically shown by children with AUTISM is a failure to imitate the motor actions of other people. Imitation plays a central role in both in both social and cognitive development. Thus, autistic children’s deficient imitation ability may help to explain many of the core symptoms of AUTISM. Although impaired motor imitation is considered a diagnostic criterion for AUTISM, very little is known about the nature or cause of this impairment. The primary aim of this research project is to explore the psychological nature and neurophysiological basis of autistic children’s deficit in motor imitation.


Three possible reasons for autistic children’s impairment in motor imitation will be investigated using rigorous experimental methods that have been designed to assess imitation in normally-developing infants. Subjects will consist of developmentally-matched samples of young autistic, mentally-retarded, and normally-developing children. The first experiment is designed to determine whether the autistic child has difficulty recognizing the similarity between actions of the self and other, a possibility that has been raised by investigators in the field but has never been directly tested. The second experiment is designed to assess whether the autistic child, although recognizing the similarity between actions of self and other, is unable to translate this perceptual information into motor actions (immediate imitation). The third experiment is designed to assess whether the autistic child’s failure to imitate is related to a general deficit in the ability to store and later act on internal representations of absent events (deferred imitation). Such a representational capability has been linked to the prefrontal cortex. To further explore the relations between frontal lobe functioning and motor imitation in AUTISM, both behavioral and electrophysiological (EEG) measures of frontal lobe functioning will be obtained to examine whether these measures are predictive of children’s level of imitation and social ability.


27.

Principal Investigator:

LOVAAS, OLE I

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

405 HILGARD AVE, 1285 FRANZ HA

LOS ANGELES, CA 90024-1563 Performing Organization: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES


Amount: $76,032 per year
Title: LONG TERM OUTCOME OF EARLY INTERVENTION FOR AUTISM
Grant Expires in : This Fiscal Year


Abstract:
The present proposal aims to evaluate outcome in adulthood of clients with AUTISM who received intensive behavioral treatment as children. AUTISM is a severely handicapping condition with onset in early childhood. Most persons with AUTISM reqUire lifelong supervised or institutional care.

They exhibit deviant and/or delayed development in intellectual, social, emotional, and self-help skills, often accompanied by high rates of aggressive, self-injurious, and ritualistic behaviors. Several recent studies have reported favorable outcome of early and intensive behavioral intervention in AUTISM.

Of these studies, the Lovaas (1987) study has had the most comprehensive intervention and long-term follow-up. Clients (mean IQ=60; mean CA=34 months) were assigned to an experimental group (n=19) or to a minimal treatment control group (n=19). Nineteen pre-treatment variables showed the groups to be similar to each other and to other groups of preschool children with AUTISM. The experimental group received an intensive, in-home behavioral treatment for 2 or more years.


The control group received minimal behavioral treatment (10 hours a week or less). Follow-up l at CA=7 years showed that the experimental group had achieved a less restrictive school placement and higher 10 scores than the control group (mean 10=83 vs. 10=52, respectively). Follow-up II at mean CA=11.5 years showed that the experimental group subjects had preserved their gains while control group subjects showed no change. An extensive, double-blind evaluation of the 9 best outcome experimental subjects showed 8 of them to be indistinguishable from average children on commonly used and well-normed tests of intellectual, social and emotional functioning.


Subjects in this study are now adults aged 19-29 years. Consequently, they have experienced many new social, emotional and intellectual demands. Study 1 will evaluate the overall effectiveness of intensive and early intervention by comparing experimental and control group subjects on tests of intellectual and educational achievement, social and emotional functioning, occupational status, adaptive skills, diagnosis, and presence of clinically acute problems such as the extent of self-injury and assaultive behaviors, medication, rate and kind of institutionalization, and cost of treatment.

Study 2 will consist of a particularly rigorous evaluation of the 9 best-outcome subjects identified in Follow-up l. The evaluation will focus on residual problems and subtle signs of AUTISM such as thought and language disturbances, affective flattening, social awkwardness, difficulties in pragmatics, and socially significant indicators of quality of life, including work, marriage and parenthood.

Data from Study 1 and 2 will contribute information about the strengths and weaknesses of intensive and early behavioral intervention, thereby providing direction for improvement in future treatments. Implications for theories of AUTISM will also be identified.

View all here:

https://web.archive.org/web/19970502192728/http://www.canfoundation.org/cur_res.html

One Reply to “Cure Autism Now: Autism Research Funded By NIH | Nov. 5, 1996”

  1. Having said – parent training is a powerful thing.

    [it has been the dominant or near-dominant emphasis in Australia and New Zealand – before things became standardised].

    Especially if targeted.

    [and a lot would call “brief therapy” of 10 or 20 weeks a control].

    Then I think of 6 months vs 2 years – that whole putting in 3 to 5 times the energy has a whole new meaning now.

    Does anyone know more about Lord’s study and whether/how it kept up until 1999 or the 2000s?

    [fiscal year not being the calendar year and other dative strictures!]

    [and why she and her people were possibly too busy to put in an abstract by deadline].

    Geraldine Dawson on three sorts of imitation…

    [I do know the general body that GD is referencing].

    And I can think of a few young[er] people I know who would have been the right age and other qualifications for the two Lovaas studies.

    [it is really easy to cadge an IQ below 35 when you really need to – and they did start to move from the “untestable” hypothesis in the late 1970s and the early 1980s].

    [I only knew this was possible because of Susan Felder in THE SECRET OF SUSAN. Thank you, Susan, for “telling” this secret – and in later books she had sensory therapies like Grandin’s squeeze machine in her summer/holiday programme].

    [in Canada also – as well as Oslo and wherever Bancroft Centre was].

    “Residual and subtle” – does this not take us back to the 1980 DSM?

    [and contemporaneous systems in other countries?]

    And diagnostics which failed to stick or were informal for some reason.

    Again – I do have a fairly good idea of what the parents were taught about their children 1996-99…

    Like

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