Facilitating factors and barriers to the implementation of intensive home-based behavioural intervention for young children with autism

E Johnson, RP Hastings*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Background Although international interest in intensive home-based early behavioural intervention for children with autism is increasing, there is little or no published research on the experiences of families conducting these programmes.

Methods One hundred and forty-one UK parents conducting Lovaas-style interventions with their young child with autism were asked to identify factors that acted as facilitative factors and barriers to the implementation of these programmes. Parents responded to written questions contained within a questionnaire survey, and their responses were subjected to a content analysis procedure.

Results Several of the facilitative factors and barriers were found to be similar. For example, a supportive therapy team was the most frequently cited facilitative factor, and problems recruiting and maintaining a suitable team was the most frequently reported barrier. Other factors seemed to be more independent constructs. For example, an important barrier was the lack of time and personal energy, but plenty of time and energy was not cited as a facilitative factor.

Conclusions The practical implications of these results for families and for services supporting families engaged in intensive early behavioural intervention are discussed. In addition, more general implications for the designers of behavioural intervention programmes are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002


  • autism
  • applied behaviour analysis
  • early intervention
  • family experiences
  • behavioural intervention

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