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What is Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention?

If your toddler or preschooler was recently diagnosed with autism, you’ve probably heard the term early intervention used a lot. But what about early intensive behavioral intervention?

Early intensive behavioral intervention is a form of early intervention and can be very beneficial to infants, toddlers, and young children on the autism spectrum (ASD). 

Keep reading to learn more! 

What is early intervention?

Before we explore early intensive behavioral intervention, it’s important to first understand early intervention

Early intervention is a term used to describe the services and supports that are available to babies and young children with developmental delays and disabilities and their families. 

For children with autism, early intervention services can include Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and more, based on the needs of the child. 

The goal of early intervention is to give a child the best start possible and the best chance of developing to their full potential. Early intervention does this by: 

  • Promoting child development
  • Enhancing emerging competencies
  • Minimizing developmental delays
  • Promoting adaptive parenting and overall family functioning

What is early intensive behavioral intervention? 

Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) is a type of early intervention based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

The foundation of EIBI is that care should be provided early and often to best support a child’s skill development, reinforce positive behaviors, and reduce negative behaviors that impact learning. 

Frequent reinforcement utilizing a naturalistic approach can help young brains learn more quickly.

What are the benefits of early intensive behavioral intervention?

EIBI can help children improve and develop communication, social, and play skills. EIBI can also help children improve self-help skills, like eating, dressing, and toileting skills.

How does early intensive behavioral intervention therapy work?

EIBI often looks like play and utilizes a child’s natural environment and everyday activities to build skills and habits. 

EIBI therapy breaks tasks and skills into small steps. These small steps are more manageable and help the child succeed. Breaking objectives into smaller steps will help prevent the child from becoming frustrated. This can help the child master skills and learn more independence.

Most EIBI programs involve about 30 – 40 hours of therapy per week.

When can a child start early intensive behavioral intervention?

Like any form of early intervention, the younger a child starts the more effective the intervention will be. 

Children as young as 18 months up to 6 years old can benefit from EIBI. 

Is there evidence to support early intensive behavioral intervention?

EIBI is considered one of the most effective interventions for children with autism. Studies have shown that EIBI can aid in the reduction of a child’s need for special services and can improve a child’s gains in development. 

Research has also shown that the earlier a child begins EIBI the better the results are.

At Opya, we offer ABA and other early intervention services to children starting at 18 months up to 6 years of age. Click here to learn more about the services we provide and how we can help your child and your family.