This study shows that parent-managed intensive (averaging 26 hours per week) ABA treatment for children with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) is less effective than the clinic-managed treatment programs described in previous studies.
In this study, parents received six one-day training workshops on the ABA approach, with monthly follow-up workshops over 2-3 years. The parents then created and managed an intensive ABA program from their home. Over the long term, results were mixed: two of six children improved on all tested measures; one improved only on IQ; one declined; and the other two did not change. However, the authors report that parental stress was significantly lower after 2-3 years of treatment and that parents were highly satisfied with the intervention. The study was limited by its small sample size and missing follow-up data; the authors caution that the study needs to be reproduced.