Comparing Efficacy, Effectiveness, and Efficiency of Individualized Programs for Children With a Disability after Two Years of Applied Practice in Public Schools, Homes, and Learning Centers
We applied CABAS-based interventions in learning centers, in schools, and at home for 21 children with autism and other disabilities, comparing their performance and their development with criterion-based assessment tools at different intensivity conditions (25 versus 12 hours a week). Participants were 24 male and 6 female, 3 to 11 years old, born and living in Italy, ranging from emergent-listener emergent-speaker to emergent-reader emergent-writer levels of Verbal Behavior (Greer & Ross, 2008). Dependent variables were monthly number of objectives and rate of learning (Learn Units to Criterion) for each participant. Parents and teachers' written answers to questions were used to compare parents' verbal behavior about low versus high intensivity and home versus school or center based interventions preferences. The independent variables were individualized center-based or school plus home plus center-based treatments, with a multielement design for each Participant. Early data suggest that despite low intensivity center-based treatments and high-intensivity home-based treatments were labeled as "more effective" by most parents and teachers, center-based 12 to 25 hours a week interventions seemed to be consistently the most efficient treatment option. We will discuss the significance of these data in terms of researchers' need to collect and spread data on different treatment "packages" costs and effects.