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The Importance of Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI)
By Julius Odtojan

Families who receive an autism diagnosis often experience a variety of emotions that range from fear to relief to uncertainty. For most families, this is the first time they are learning about the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as well as the treatment options. One of the most frequently recommended treatments for ASD, and one that has been endorsed by the US Surgeon General among other medical and therapeutic organizations, is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). There is a general consensus within the scientific community that early intervention for developmental delays is critical, and Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) is an important component of comprehensive early intervention.

What is EIBI?

Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) is a way of describing therapy based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) that 1) is started early (typically by age 3 or 4), 2) is intensive, meaning therapy occurs 20-40 hours per week, 3) lasts for 2 or more years, 4) involves parents throughout the planning and treatment process, 5) typically involves 1 on 1 sessions with the child and a trained therapist, 6) is individualized to each child, and 7) consists of a comprehensive treatment plan (i.e., targeting multiple different skill deficits and behavioral excesses, as appropriate). Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) conduct assessments as well as parent interviews to identify the most important skills to teach and behaviors to target for reduction. Once the initial assessment process is complete, the BCBA will develop a treatment plan with input from your family. This plan will be implemented, typically by some combination of therapists, the BCBA, and your family; the BCBA will monitor your child’s progress and make changes as needed. Assessment is ongoing and all interventions are tailored to your child’s needs and strengths.

How will my child benefit from EIBI?

•A comprehensive EIBI program will include programming that is developmentally appropriate and that is important to you and your family
•Some areas targeted in an EIBI program are:
•Daily living skills/independence
•Play skills
•Pre-academic skills
•Social skills
•Learning to learn
•Reducing behaviors that interfere with learning
•Reducing behaviors that are disruptive and/or dangerous
•Why is it important for my child to receive services early?

Children can master important skills prior to entering more demanding environments (e.g., school)
Teaching skills early can help prevent challenging behavior from developing in the future
Challenging behaviors are often easier to eliminate when children are younger and smaller
Some evidence indicates younger children have greater brain plasticity, resulting in increased benefits from therapy
Engage Behavioral Health provides a variety of ABA services, including early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI). Families seeking these or other ABA services at one of our locations can contact us at (877) 350-5005 to start the intake process today!