Anyone have experiences with Lovaas? — The Bump
Special Needs

Anyone have experiences with Lovaas?

My 2y 9m old son has PDD NOS and is pretty high functioning. We had an EI team meeting yesterday to discuss his FBA outcome. They recommended 5 hours of behavioral therapy. They offered a Floortime model through one of their carriers, but we've been hearing so much about Lovaas. My son's preschool teacher actually reccomended it, her 2 children have autism.  The EI case manager seemed to think it wasn't a good fit for our son since he isn't "profoundly autistic". They said it's very intensive therapy that is broken down into small bits. It might be too broken down for what he needs. Huh? Don't they work with all types of children profound or high functioning?

They said that if we wanted Lovaas, it is there for us. But, I feel like they were very against it. Money perhaps?  We are Confused

Re: Anyone have experiences with Lovaas?

  • What kind of skills does your DS need to develop the most-social/pragmatic skills, receptive/expressive language, etc?  The thing with ABA is that while it's definitely great for teaching some specific skills, it's can be difficult for kids to carry over the skills that have been taught in the ABA setting into other settings.  Too many times, I've worked with kids with Asperger (I'm a SLP) who recieve intensive ABA for social skills only, and the parents wonder why their child still sounds unnatural or like they're reading from a script (because in essence, they are).  The approach that Auntie mentioned (starting out with ABA and transitioning towards a Floortime-type model) is a great concept.  Do you think your school district would consider a similar concept?


  • There are some more recent approaches/changes to ABA that aren't as ridged, that I would suggest over traditional Lovaas/discrete trial training if you are planning on doing ABA.  
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  • Thanks for all the info. I appreciate it.

    According to his FBA outcome, here are things we want to work on.

    Building social skills-he does acknowledge kids, engages in physical play with kids. He also attends a typical nursery school 5 hours a week, which is mostly social/play based.

    Receptive and Expressive language-he definitely has words, a great vocab. He is echolalic mostly, no spontaneous speech. We've had some recent breakthroughs.

    Increase attention span and stay on task-his dx also expresses concerns for future ADHD. He definitely needs help with that, he's all over the place.

    Play with toys appropriately.

    And some behavior issues with are having with him, not listening.

    They suggested 5 hours of behavior. Right now he is in 1 hour of ST, 1 hour of OT weekly, 4.5 hours of Easter Seal's Step Up program ( a preschool/playgroup prep group for kids with delays, mostly kids on the spectrum-awesome program, 5 hours of typical nursery school a week (sometimes his therapy sessions are intergrated into school).

    Auntie-I'm in PA too, outside Philly (Montco). EI has given us a choice of EdBeCo or Lovaas. Good or bad words on those providers?  Thanks! 

  • Thank you so much. I've been looking for a local support/online group. :o)
  • My ds is high functioning and he is 3 years old. Lovaas is stricter than the more recent methods of ABA. He gets the Verbal Behavior approach and doesn't get the 40 hrs a week, because he doesn't need it. He gets about 14 hours a week which includes several hours from me and is sailing through his program. I like to be involved, so I know what he is working on and I can help relate the things he is learning to his natural environment.

    He is in a mainstream preschool that is very focused on education and is top notch (it is run by my employer, who is a large university). I am completely confident with their ability to work with him. His private ABA therapists do a mixture of individual work and classroom work on social skills and transfering his skills to the classroom. We do pay out of pocket, insurance is not covering as of yet-still working on that.

    We do supplement with Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy-one hour a week for each.

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