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A Comparative Study Of The Effects Of A Developmentally Based Instructional Model On Young Children With Autism And Young Children With Other Disorders Of Behavior And Development

Sally J. Rogers, David L. DiLalla

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The progress made by two different groups of preschool children, those with autism or related disorders and those with other emotional/behavioral and developmental disorders, in a particular instruction model was examined. The model was developmentally based and heavily influenced by Piaget's theory of cognitive development, pragmatics theory of language development, and Mahler's theory of development of interpersonal relationships. Both groups of children made greater progress than was predicted by their initial developmental rates in cognitive and language areas. An important and unexpected finding was the similar amount of progress made by the two groups: Specifically, the groups with autism did not make less progress than the comparison group, which ran contrary to our hypothesis.