Understanding Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention and How it Helps Children with ASD

According to the CDC, 1 in 59 children in the US have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While there isn’t a cure for ASD, research shows that applied behavior analysis can offer numerous benefits, especially when introduced at a very young age through early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI).

Our team at Scottsdale Children’s Institute uses evidence-based principles of applied behavior to help improve your child’s learning, communication, and social skills. Keep reading to learn how EIBI can help children with ASD grow and thrive.

How early intensive behavioral intervention works

EIBI describes a focused approach designed to help children with ASD succeed more easily, especially with functional skills needed in everyday life like washing their hands and communicating. As part of this program, we work to increase positive and useful behaviors while decreasing unwanted behaviors like aggression, tantrums, and self-injury.

Our EIBI program typically takes 20-40 hours per week and involves personalized attention specifically tailored to each child’s unique skills and needs. Throughout their EIBI program, we continuously observe, measure, and track your child’s progress. We also make adjustments as needed to ensure their success.

This intensive intervention program is for children between 2–6 years of age. However, it’s most effective when started as early as possible and continues for 2–3 years. You can also use EIBI in combination with other treatments, like group, occupational, or speech therapy.

What to expect from EIBI

We structure our EIBI programs using the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA). Many consider this the gold-standard treatment for children with ASD. Our ABA programs use a science-based model that helps children learn desired behaviors through positive reinforcement.

Our EIBI processes include:

  • Assessing and identifying your child’s skills and needs
  • Using positive feedback to encouraging skill development
  • Regularly monitoring, measuring, and observing your child’s progress
  • Personalizing our teaching strategies to your child’s needs
  • Providing parents and caregivers with behavioral interventions to use at home

A crucial aspect of EIBI and ABA intervention involves initial and ongoing assessment of your child. As they progress, they receive more complex tasks, while the level of guidance they receive decreases as they learn to perform specific skills independently.

Why early intervention is best

ABA has high success rates when used with older children and adults, but they’re even higher when adapted to children at a young age. In fact, a study by the New England Center for Children reported that 90% of toddlers entering EIBI programs before their second birthday showed significant gains. These findings were the same for 70% of the toddlers who began therapy between 24–36 months.

EIBI helps children with ASD establish context around learning, and it allows them to translate what they learn to other settings. It also helps them connect definitions to verbal and non-verbal cues, so they can better communicate. By starting EIBI early, you offer your child more foundational tools and more advantages as they grow older and progress through life.

To learn more about EIBI and how it can help your child with ASD, contact us at our Scottdale, Arizona office by calling 480-410-4060 or by requesting an appointment online.