Evidence-Based Practice in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education: Single-Subject Design Research

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The purpose of this study was to examine the strength of scientific evidence from single-subject research underlying the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices. From the 1990 to 1998 research literature, 184 articles met the inclusionary criteria for this review. In general, the literature provided positive, and in some cases very strong, scientific evidence for the effectiveness of practices from the Child-Focused Strand of the DEC Recommended Practices. Researchers most frequently used multiple-baseline, multiple-probe, alternating treatment, and a combination of designs. Treatment effects were replicated an average of 5.5 times per study, and treatments appeared to be implemented with a high degree of fidelity. Researchers less often provided evidence for maintenance, generalization, and social validity of treatments.

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