Of note from the link above:
Children's rate of development (based on the Vineland age equivalent scores) during IBI was approximately double their rate prior to IBI, and this was true for all three initial subgroups, i.e., even the lower functioning children doubled their rate of development, as a group. This suggests that the developmental trajectory of children was altered during their participation in the IBI program. Many children were even developing at a typical rate (although they may not have "caught up" to typical peers).Here is an interesting note - even those children considered lower-functioning doubled their rate of development while in IBI. Even those kids "cut off" from IBI because their "trajectory" is not altered doubled their rate of development. This statement tells me that discharging children from IBI because progression is not fast enough is more about money and is not what is best for the child. Putting kids in school therefore would slow their rate of development to what it would have been pre-treatment. Put another way, transitioning to school a child who cannot learn from their environment halves their rate of development.
In a more recent journal article:
Perry, A et al. Predictors of outcome for children receiving intensive behavioural intervention in a large, community based program. Research In Autism Spectrum Disorders (2010).
On the impact of age at entry:
"...if the goal of IBI is to alter developmental trajectories and boost children into the average range, this may only be feasible if children begin IBI when they are very young. Thus, it is critical that efforts are made to encourage early diagnosis and to reduce wait lists and ensure children receive IBI early whenever possible." pg. 10The above quote comes out of some discussion that "best outcome" cases were strongly correlated with age at entry.
On the use of benchmarks:
"Thus, it seems to us most responsible to offer children with autism an initial trial of IBI, as recommend by the Ontario Expert Clinical Panel and to monitor their progress carefully using clear and specific benchmarks, as recommended by the Ontario Benchmark Development Expert Panel." pg. 12It is important to note the authors, with the notable exception of Adrienne Perry (to my knowledge) are all current clinical directors in the Ontario IBI program or have been clinical directors in the past.
Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with early diagnosis and intervention. I do not agree with the benchmarks. ABA can help all children regardless of how fast they are developing.