Ivar Lovass and The Treatment Of Autism


Ivar Lovass and The Treatment Of Autism

I received the following today. For families with autistic children, Ivar Lovass was a God-Send. He was a young and well-know researcher in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis when I began my training. It is very sad to know that he has passed away. Please read this short memorial.

Dear Tom:

“At 6 PM on August the 2nd, 2010, Professor Emeritus O. Ivar Løvaas, Ph.D., passed away quietly after a long battle with illness. He was surrounded by his closest family. There will be an official memorial service at the University of California, Los Angeles later this month.” Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, Executive Director, Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.

Unfortunately, Løvaas had had Alzheimer’s for the last few years. He was recovering from surgery for a broken hip and got an infection that caused his death.

Few have had Løvaas’ impact on the field of behavior analysis, demonstrating the power of behavior analysis to so significantly improve the quality of life of so many people. Little in behavior analysis, or in psychology, has had the real impact of the behavioral interventions he started and that have been replicated and expanded upon by so many other behavior analysts. He showed that if you’re willing to do what it takes, up to 40 hours per week of intensive training for at least a couple years, you can help young children with autism greatly improve their lives. And this has almost as powerful an effect on the lives of the children’s families. And also on the lives of the tutors and behavior analysts who have the privilege of using behavior analysis to help those children and their families. The field of behavior analysis and the Association for Behavior Analysis International owe a great debt to Ivar Løvaas, his students, and the many researchers and practitioners who have followed his path and who have branched off on related paths of their own.

With Regret,
Association for Behavior Analysis International

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