LEAP Preschool Model
LEAP-USA Randomized, Controlled Trial
In this four year study a clustered randomized design was employed in which 28 inclusive preschool classrooms were randomly assigned to receive two years of training and coaching to fidelity in the LEAP preschool model and 28 inclusive classes were assigned to receive intervention manuals only. In total, 177 intervention classroom children and 117 comparison classroom children participated. Children were similar on all measures at start. After 2 years, experimental class children were found to have made significantly greater improvement than their comparison cohorts on measures of cognitive, language, social, problem behavior and autism symptoms. The presence of significant behavior, severity of autism symptoms and cognitive level at entry did not predict outcome, nor did family SES. The fidelity with which teachers implemented LEAP strategies did predict outcomes. Finally, social validity measurement showed that procedures and outcomes were favorably viewed by intervention class teachers.
- LEAP - USA was funded by the US Department of Education, Institute of Educational Sciences.
LEAP Follow Up Study
This 3 year follow up study will continue to track participants from the LEAP – USA RCT in their elementary school settings to determine if the differential outcomes identified in the RCT continue to manifest in elementary school. More information coming soon.
- LEAP Follow Up study is funded by the US Department of Education, Institute of Educational Sciences.
Key Research Findings from Prior LEAP Studies
- Typically developing peers as young as 30 months can be taught to utilize facilitative social and communicative initiations with their peers with autism.
- Peers' use of facilitative strategies result in higher rates of communicative interaction for preschoolers with autism.
- The peer facilitative strategies often produce "day one" effects, suggesting that the delayed social and communicative abilities of many young children with autism may be attributable, in part, to the socially non-responsive settings in which they are most often educated.
- For many children who receive peer-mediated intervention, their eventual level of social participation falls within the typical range for their age cohorts.
- The naturalistic or incidental teaching used at LEAP to influence cognitive outcomes yields approximately two months developmental gain for each month enrolled.
- The majority of LEAP graduates have been enrolled (without identification) in regular education settings with no subsequent deterioration in performance.
- Gains for LEAP children maintain following program participation.
- Children who begin early have better outcomes.
LEAP Model-Reference List
LEAP Outcome Studies
Strain, P.S. & Hoyson, M. (2000). On the need for longitudinal, intensive social skill intervention: LEAP follow-up outcomes for children with autism as a case-in-point. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 20, 116-122.
Strain, P.S., & Bovey, E.H. (2011). Randomized, controlled trial of the LEAP model of early intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorders. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. First published on May 25, 2011 as doi:10.1177/0271121411408740.
Efficacy of Peer-Mediated Social Intervention
Odom, S.L., Hoyson, M., Jamieson, B., & Strain, P.S. (1985). Increasing handicapped preschoolers peer social interactions: Cross-setting and component analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 18, 3-16.
Strain, P.S., Hoyson, M., & Jamieson, B. (1985). Class deportment and social outcomes for normally developing and autistic-like children in an integrated preschool. Journal of the Division for Early Childhood, 10, 105-115.
Odom, S.L. & Strain, P.S. (1986). Combining teacher antecedents and peer responses for promoting reciprocal social interaction of autistic preschoolers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 19, 59-71.
Odom, S.L., Strain, P.S., Karger, M.A., & Smith, J.D. (1986). Using single and multiple peers to promote social interaction of preschool children with severe handicaps. Journal of the Division for Early Childhood, 10, 53-64.
Strain, P.S. (1987). Comprehensive evaluation of young autistic children. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 7, 97-110.
Lefebvre, D. & Strain, P.S. (1989). Effects of a group contingency on the frequency of social interactions among autistic and nonhandicapped preschool children: Making LRE efficacious. Journal of Early Intervention, 13, 329-341.
Kohler, F.W., Strain, P.S., Maretsky, S., & DeCesare, L. (1990). Promoting positive and supportive interactions between preschoolers: An analysis of group-oriented contingencies. Journal of Early Intervention, 14, 327-341.
Kohler, F.W., Strain, P.S., & Shearer, D.D. (1992). The overtures of preschool social skill intervention agents: Differential rates, forms, and functions. Behavior Modification, 16, 525-542.
Sainato, D.M., Goldstein, H., & Strain, P.S. (1992). Effects of self-monitoring on preschool children's use of social interaction strategies with their handicapped peers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 127-142.
Kohler, F. W. & Strain, P. S. (1993). Teaching preschool children to make friends. Teaching Exceptional Children, 25, 41-43.
Storey, K., Smith, D., & Strain, P. S. (1993). Use of classroom assistants and peer-mediated intervention to increase integration in preschool settings. Exceptionality, 4, 1-16.
Strain, P.S., Kohler, F.W., Storey, K., & Danko, C. D. (1994). Teaching preschoolers with autism to self-monitor their social interactions. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 2, 78-88.
Smith, J. D., McConnell, S. R., Maretsky, S. R., Kudray, R. M., & Strain, P. S. (1995). Promoting reciprocal social interactions among autistic and normally developing children in an integrated preschool. Journal of the Multihandicapped Person, 5, 110-123.
Kohler, F.W., Strain, P.S., Hoyson, M., Davis, L., Donina, W.M., & Rapp, N. (1995). Using a group-oriented contingency to increase social interactions between children with autism and their peers: A preliminary analysis of corollary supportive behaviors. Behavior Modification, 19, 10-32.
Strain, P.S., Danko, C.D., & Kohler, F. (1995). Activity engagement and social interaction development in young children with autism: An examination of “free” intervention effects. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 3, 108-123.
Strain, P.S. & Kohler, F.W. (1995). Analyzing predictors of daily social skill performance. Behavior Disorders, 21, 78-87.
Strain, P.S. & Danko, C.D. (1995). Caregivers’ encouragement of positive interaction between preschoolers with autism and their siblings. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 3, 2-12.
Strain, P. S. & Kohler, F. W. (1998). Peer-mediated social intervention for young children with autism. Seminars in Speech and Language, 19, 391-405.
Kohler, F. W. & Strain, P. S. (1999). Maximizing peer-mediated resources within integrated preschool classrooms. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 19, 92-102.
Strain, P.S. (2001). Empirically-based social skill intervention. Behavioral Disorders, 27, 30-36.
Strain, P.S. & Schwartz, I (2001). Applied behavior analysis and social skills intervention for young children with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disorders, 8, 12-24.
Efficacy of Peer-Mediated Communication Intervention
Goldstein, H. & Wickstrom, S. (1986). Peer intervention effects on communicative interaction among handicapped and nonhandicapped preschoolers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 19, 209-214.
Goldstein, H. & Ferrell, D.R. (1987). Augmenting communicative interaction between handicapped and nonhandicapped preschool children. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 52, 200-219.
Goldstein, H., Wickstrom, S., Hoyson, M., Jamieson, B., & Odom, S. (1988). Effects of sociodramatic play training on social and communicative interaction. Education and Treatment of Children, 11, 97-117.
Goldstein, H. & Cisar, C.L. (1992). Promoting interaction during sociodramatic play: Teaching scripts to typical preschoolers and classmates with handicaps. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 265-280.
Goldstein, H., Kaczmarek, L., Pennington, R., & Shafer, K. (1992). Peer-mediated intervention: Attending to, commenting on, and acknowledging the behavior of preschoolers with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 289-305.
Efficacy of Instructional Tactics on Pre-Academic Behaviors
Hoyson, M., Jamieson, B., & Strain, P.S. (1984). Individualized group instruction of normally developing and autistic-like children: The LEAP curriculum model. Journal of the Division for Early Childhood, 8, 157-172.
Sainato, D.M., Strain, P.S., Lefebvre, D., & Rapp, N. (1987). Facilitating transition times with preschool handicapped children: A comparison between peer-mediated and antecedent prompt procedures. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 20, 285-292.
Sainato, D.M., Strain, P.S., Lefebvre, D., & Rapp, N. (1990). Effects of self-evaluation of the independent work skills of preschool children with disabilities. Exceptional Children, 56, 540-551.
Venn, M.L., Wolery, M., Fleming, L.A., DeCesare, L.D., Morris, A., Sigesmund, M.H. (1993). Effects of teaching preschool peers to use the mand-model procedure during snack activities. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 2 (l), 38-46.
Venn, M.L., Wolery, M., Werts, M.G., Morris, A., DeCosare, L.D., & Cuffs, M.S. (1993). Embedding instruction in art activities to teach preschoolers with disabilities to imitate their peers. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 8, 277-294.
Kohler, F.W. & Strain, P.S. (1997). Combining incidental teaching and peer-mediation with young children with autism. Journal of Autism and Related Disorders, 12, 196-206.
Efficacy of Parent Participation Component
Cordisco, L. & Strain, P.S. (1986). Assessment of generalization and maintenance in a multicomponent parent training program. Journal of the Division for Early Childhood, 10, 10-24.
Strain, P.S. (1987). Parent involvement and outcomes at LEAP Preschool. Zero to Three (Journal of the National Center for Clinical Infant Programs), 6, 7-12.
Prevent-Teach-Reinforce Model (Evidence-based Interventions for Severe Behavior Problems)
While there is a significant body of research that has demonstrated the effectiveness of positive behavior support with students with developmental disabilities much of this research has used single subject designs. This study represented a randomized experimental group design used to compare the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce Model, which utilizes the PBS process, to traditional, school-based behavioral approaches.
The PTR project included students in grades K to 7 who exhibited chronic, intense, and/or frequent problem behavior. Participants represented a diverse range of abilities, disabilities, and educational placements with a significant proportion having developmental disabilities. Outcome measures were obtained on multiple variables including teacher fidelity of implementation, behavior change, impact of contextual conditions, and progress on pro-social behaviors.
Dunlap, G., Iovannone, R., Wilson, K.J., Kincaid, D.K. & Strain, P. (2008). Prevent-teach-reinforce: A standardized model of school-based behavioral intervention. Journal of Positive Behavior Intervention, 5, p. 1-16.
Strain, P.S., Dunlap, G., & Wilson, K. (2010). Prevent - Teach - Reinforce: Problem behaviors of students with autism in general education classrooms. Behavioral Disorders, 36, 1-12.
Prevent Teach Reinforce Manual
Iovannone, R., Dunlap, G., Kincaid, D., Wilson, K. & Strain, P.S. (2009). Prevent - Teach - Reinforce: A school-based manual for prevention of problem behavior. Paul Brookes, Baltimore.
Prior Research Projects (More information coming soon)
Kids in Development Study
Regional Intervention Program (RIP)