Friday, August 6. 2010
Los Angeles, CA, August 6, 2010 – O. Ivar Lovaas, a distinguished professor of psychology at UCLA, a pioneer in the research and development of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to treat children with autism, and the founder of the Lovaas Institute, died on August 2nd at age 83.
The publication of Dr. Lovaas's landmark study in 1987 demonstrated that nearly half of children with autism who received early, intensive behavioral therapy achieved normal-range IQ scores and were able to attend regular education classrooms by the end of first grade without the help of an aide. Many of those children in the study who did not achieve optimal results still demonstrated marked improvement. This study paved the way to the development of practical, effective therapy based on the collection of objective, measurable data, in contrast to earlier treatment which had been based on theories unsupported by scientific research. Since that time, his work has been validated by independent treatment sites which achieved comparable outcomes when they were trained in his methods.
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