The Autism Society Event and Education Recordings Archive

Use this site to access recordings and presentations from National Conferences

Autism Society records most keynote and concurrent sessions at their annual conferences. You can see and hear those recordings by purchasing full online access, or individual recordings.

5316 A Collaborative Model for the Provision of Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention [ASHA Session]

Friday, July 8, 2011: 1:15 PM-2:30 PM
Sun 5-6 (Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center)
A collaborative service delivery model for providing early intensive behavioral intervention services to children with autism spectrum disorders will be introduced. A partnership between HowardCenter, a community-based children's mental health service provider, and Children's Integrated Services-Early Intervention (Part C) in Vermont will be described, and the model for developing and implementing early intervention for children ages 0-3 will be detailed. Group outcome data and case examples will be shared, along with implications this model has for other states/agencies. The effectiveness of early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) for young children with autism is well documented in both the autism and behavioral literature. Thanks in part to recent work documenting and describing evidenced-based practices for children with autism (such as the National Autism Center’s National Standards Project), families of children newly diagnosed can now more easily learn about effective early intervention strategies and the importance of getting interventions, such as early intensive behavioral intervention, started as quickly as possible. However, once the decision is made to pursue EIBI, it continues to be difficult to both fund these expensive programs and to develop intensive intervention teams with the right combination of service providers to participate in appropriate interdisciplinary teaming and oversight. Further, given the benefit of getting intensive interventions in place as quickly as possible, it is imperative that families have access to service delivery options to consider shortly after diagnosis. All too often valuable time is lost attempting to pull together resources and service providers, and designate roles and responsibilities.  While these struggles are widely shared among families of children with autism, each of these challenges is often magnified for families living in more rural parts of the country, far from the major metropolitan areas and the range of service options and formal programs often available in cities.

In this presentation, a model developed in Vermont for the provision of early intensive behavioral intervention will be presented. This model highlights a Medicaid funded collaboration between HowardCenter, a community-based children’s mental health services provider, and Children’s Integrated Services- Early Intervention (Vermont’s Part C program) to effectively develop and deliver EIBI services in the natural environment for children birth-3, as soon as they are diagnosed with or suspected of having an autism spectrum disorder, at no cost to families.

Key elements of effective EIBI programming and service delivery will be detailed, and the process of developing these services in Vermont will be outlined. An overview of typical intake and service start up will be review and examples of what typical services for a toddler look like will be shared. The nature of this unique collaboration will be explored, along with a discussion of the role of various agencies, and the process for funding this costly service. Multiple case examples of how the collaboration works, and how the children who have received this services have been impacted will be presented. In addition, individual and some group outcome data will be shared as these outcomes, and the availability of outcome data in general, are critical to continued funding and support of such state partnerships. Family involvement will be discussed and family feedback regarding the model and its impact will be shared.

Finally, in this session participants will have the opportunity reflect on the implications that this Vermont state model has for other states and agencies looking to improve early intervention services for very young children with autism. While collectively our knowledge about effective interventions for children with autism continues to improve, across the country states and communities continue to grapple with the best ways to provide those services to children and their families. This presentation will provide a way for participants a way to learn from others about possible service delivery options to help improve access to critical early intervention.

In summary, participants in this session will:

  1. learn key elements and processes for establishing an EIBI program for children with ASD ages 0-3.
  2. understand a promising collaborative service delivery model for very young children with ASD.
  3. view examples how to track and document both individual and group outcomes in early intervention, which is critical to ongoing funding of such service partnerships.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn key elements and processes for establishing an EIBI program for children with ASD ages 0-3.
  • Understand a promising collaborative service delivery model for very young children with ASD.
  • View examples how to track and document both individual and group outcomes in early intervention.

Content Area: Early Intervention


Amy Ducker Cohen, Ph.D, BCBA
Autism Spectrum Program Director

Amy Cohen, PhD., BCBA, is the Director of HowardCenter’s Autism Spectrum Program, a community-based, behavioral intervention program for children with autism in Burlington, Vermont. She is co-chair of the Vermont Autism Task Force and the Vermont Autism Plan Advisory Committee, and a former Vermont Association for Behavior Analysis board member.