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Our History

The founding directors of UK Young Autism Project (UK YAP), and another of our consultants, began working individually in the early-mid 1990s with some of the first children in the UK to undertake Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI).

At the time, parent managed programmes were the only option. Those original children made progress with experienced consultants visiting from abroad, and a small number of us gained extensive high-quality training and supervision across several cases, particularly with Professor Svein Eikeseth and his colleagues. However, programmes varied in effectiveness due to inconsistencies in some treatment variables including number of treatment hours and the intensity of supervision, which limits quality control of the more specific components of teaching procedures and the curriculum. Outcomes for these early programmes are reported in the following articles:

Mudford, O.C., Martin, N., Eikeseth, S., & Bibby, P. (2001). Parent-managed behavioral treatment for preschool children with autism: Some characteristics of UK programmes. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 22(3), 173-82.
Bibby, P., Eikeseth, S., Martin, N., Mudford, O.C., & Reeves, D. (2002). Progress and outcomes for children with autism receiving parent-managed intensive interventions. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 23(1), 81-104.

From our early experiences in the UK, we knew it was crucial to develop high quality fully staffed programmes, with a small and manageable amount of outreach services for parents wishing to replicate the same model with their own staff. With the support of many parents in those early years, and in collaboration with Professor Ivar Lovaas at UCLA, we focused on our goal to set up programmes that replicated those at the Clinic for the Behavioural Treatment of Children at UCLA and the Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention. In addition, we worked towards starting a replication study, to assess whether we could achieve similar outcomes for children in the UK, to those in Los Angeles.

UK YAP was established independently in 2000 and was the continuation of the UK replication site, part of the UCLA Multi-Site Young Autism Project, which was directed internationally by Dr. Lovaas and Dr. Tristram Smith. We conducted a one year outcome study and a long term follow up study:

Hayward, D., Eikeseth, S., Gale, C., & Morgan, S. (2009). Assessing progress during treatment for young children with autism receiving intensive behavioural interventions. Autism, 13 (6), 613 – 633
Smith, D.P., Hayward, D.W., Gale, C.M., Eikeseth, S. & Klintwall, L. (2019). Treatment Gains from Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention are Maintained 10 years later. Behavior Modification

Both during and following completion of the outcome study, we have remained committed to our original principles:

  • To be a research-based organisation, actively contributing to peer reviewed literature on components and outcomes of Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention for children with autism.
  • To provide fully staffed programmes ensuring that all fundamental treatment variables are maintained.
  • To provide outreach services for parents who wish to replicate our staffed, intensive and comprehensive programmes with their own staff.
  • To employ and train tutors, senior tutors and consultants to provide highly quality programmes for children with autism in the UK and occasionally abroad.

In more recent years, we have further developed the organisation:

  • In 2011 we registered as a Community Interest Company, to accurately reflect the ethos in which we work.
  • At the same time as registering as a CIC, we re-named the organisation to UK Behaviour Analysis and Research Group and made UK Young Autism Project a division within, to enable the growth of provision and research of service for other client groups, utilising procedures based on Applied Behaviour Analysis.
  • We provide substantial sponsorship and support to talented senior staff who wish to pursue an MSc in ABA and in many cases choose to become Board Certified Behaviour Analysts in parallel to the training at UK YAP.
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