Ole Ivar Lovaas

Ole Ivar Lovaas was born in Norway in 1927; he was a clinical psychologist, who studied the use of principles, based on behavioral psychology in treating the aberrant behavior of children.  He started his academic career at Washington University, and finished his degree in 1958. Professor Lovaas was one of the world famous autism experts. He has committed his career to enhance the lives of children with autism and their families.

Professor Lovaas was the first researcher to propose that autism for some children is treatable. His wok became widely known in 1987, when he published a scholarly article titled ” Behavioral Treatment and Normal Educational and Intellectual Functioning in Young Autistic Children”. He provided that some autistic children can develop their performance in formal classrooms.  He detected that the first step to identify an effective intervention would be to demonstrate and reduce the different inefficient approaches that has been previously tried.  He has worked hard to break down the huge problem of disability into small behavioral elements, and spent many years enhancing his behavior modification techniques.

Professor Lovaas was considered one of the founders of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment for autism, he developed the Lovaas technique, and he supplied the evidence that autistic children’s behavior can be altered through teaching.  He passed away on August 2, 2010, in Lancaster California at the age of 83.

Applied Behavioral treatment (ABA)

Lovaas technique, also known as applied behavior analysis (ABA), Intensive behavioral intervention (IBI), and Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI), is an intervention treatment developed for children diagnosed with autism or similar disorders. It is a technique that involves making a high level of intervention early in the development of an autistic child. It is supported by more than 50 years of research, and includes discrete-trial teaching. Moreover, it involves breaking skills down into basic elements and rewarding positive performance.

In other words, Applied Behavioral treatment is the systematic application of intervention behavior concepts, in an attempt to enhance social behaviors. It provides that intervention techniques can significantly improve behaviors.

During the past 30 years, ABA has grown vigorously, and identified as one of the most efficient and successful autism treatment. It is considered one of the most popular and efficient therapies for autism. It is mainly concerned with the authentic measurement and objective evaluation of the observed behavior. Enhancing the behaviors related to autism, and developing the brain can be achieved even when the causes are not known, through the application of applied behavioral treatment. The National Institute of Mental Health has provided: “‘Thirty years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and in increasing communication, learning, and appropriate social behavior. The basic research done by Ivar Lovaas and his colleagues at UCLA calling for an intensive, one-on-one child-teacher interaction for 40 hours a week, laid a foundation for other educators and researchers in the search for further effective early interventions to help those with ASD attain their potential.”

ABA has lead to behavior change interventions across different groups, including;

  • Individuals (children, adults with development disabilities, employees, students, etc.).
  • Behavior change agents (parents, teachers, supervisors, etc.).
  • Settings (schools, homes, business settings, hospitals, institutions, etc.),
  • Behaviors (leisure and functional skills, aggression, self-injury, safety, customer service, etc.).

The Association for Behavior Analysis presently places various specialty fields under the behavior analysis title including; autism, behavioral pharmacology, clinical, family and behavioral medicine, community interventions, social and ethical issues, developmental disabilities, experimental analysis of behavior, education, human development, gerontology, organizational behavior management, teaching behavior analysis, and verbal behavior. Each of these classes includes numerous sub-classes.







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