What is IBI?

Intensive Behavioural Intervention or IBI is, by definition, an intensive treatment, provided for a minimum of 20 hours per week. IBI was developed for young children with autism spectrum disorders, based on the scientific principles of the broader field of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA).

ABA is the science of designing, implementing, and evaluating environmental modifications to produce socially meaningful changes in behaviour. ABA can be considered as an overall category, which can be applied to many different groups and ages, with IBI being one model of intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders.

IBI is comprehensive in scope, targeting a broad range of developmental areas. It is developmental in sequence, focusing on skills in the order they would tend to appear in typically developing children. IBI is designed to improve key learning skills, in the areas of cognitive, language, and social development. In order to do so it is imperative that intervention be provided intensively during children's best learning periods, typically during a regular daytime schedule.

To understand what IBI is, it is also helpful to review what IBI is not. IBI is not intended to address one or two skill areas only. It is not primarily for behaviour management or for the reduction of behavioural excesses and challenges. It is not solely focused on social skill development, speech and language development, or life skill development. IBI is not intended for academic tutoring. It is also not solely intended to be an after school, evening, or weekend program.

The goal of Intensive Behavioural Intervention is to increase the developmental trajectory, or rate of learning, for children with autism. When this goal is achieved, children show clinically significant improvement in cognitive, language, and adaptive functioning, which can be demonstrated at regular intervals throughout their intervention. Further, when the goal is achieved, children show increased readiness for participation in an educational program and other community activities.