Program Outcomes

The Initial Steps Infant and Toddler Day Treatment Program was initiated in September 2014. Baseline assessments were completed before all children entered the program and every 6 months following. A total of 36 children are included in the outcome data. All children received intensive ABA at 30 hours per week at the Knapp Center. Data is presented for post intervention gains.

We used the Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale – 5th Edition to measure our patient’s cognitive functioning (i.e. IQ). Below is a comparison of group baseline standard scores and standard scores after 12 months and 24 months of treatment across cognitive functioning.

On average, after 12 months of treatment, our students gained 13 standard score points in their Full Scale IQ, going from a classification of cognitive impairment to borderline. After 24 months of treatment, our students gained 33 standard score points in their full scale IQ, going from a classification of cognitive impairment to average!


We used the Receptive One Word Vocabulary Test and the Expressive One Word Vocabulary Test to measure how well our children can receptively identify objects using single words (i.e. they point to coat when we say “point to coat”) or expressively identifying objects using single words (i.e. we show a picture of a house and they say “house”). Below is a comparison of group baseline standard scores and standard scores after 12 months and 24 months of treatment, using the ROWVT-4 and EOWVT-4.

On average, after 12 months of intervention our students gained 11 standard score points in expressively identifying objects and 20 standard points in receptively identifying objects. After 24 months of intervention this increased by 39 standard points and 43 standard points; taking our students into the Average range!


We used the Preschool Language Scales -5th Edition to measure more complex language in our patients. Below is the progress made on average across the group over a period of 12 months and 24 months.

On average, after 12 months our students gained 24 points in auditory comprehension, or went from 1 year, 6 months equivalency for receptive language to 3 years, 9 months age equivalency. After 24 months of intervention, our students gained 41 standard points or went from 1 year, 6 months equivalency to 5 years, 1 month equivalency.


With expressive language, after 12 months of intervention our students gained 19 standard points, or went from 1 year, 6 months developmental level to 3 years 4 months level. After 24 months of intervention, our students gained 43 points and went from a developmental level of 1 year, 6 months to 5 years, 7 months!

Finally, for those students who entered into the program and had less than 50 words in their vocabulary, we tracked the number of words, phrases and sentences they gained. Below is a line graph showing the average number of words at baseline and following intervention.

On average, when entering the program our students had 21 words, after 6 months of intervention this increased to 167, after 12 months 292, after 18 months 396, and after 24 months 924 words!


Below is a video that showcases the outcomes of the DTP and compares the Knapp Center’s ABA Program for Toddlers to popular well-controlled research studies on ABA for this age group.