School Violence Prevention and Intervention
Schools and Special Education
Functional Behavioral Assessment
Prevention Strategies that Work
Prevention and Early Intervention
Promising Practice in Children's Mental Health
Strengthening the Safety Net
Early Intervention to Prevent the Development of Antisocial Behavior
Early intervention for children with serious emotional disturbance is the best method for treating antisocial behavior in children and youth (Walker, Colvin, and Ramsey, 1995). Many children, who receive early intervention, do not need intensive services from residential facilities, or other costly treatments later in life.
Successful early intervention programs provide coordinated services at home, at school, and in the community. One such program, First Steps, has reported long-lasting and significant improvements in children's behavior. This program also helps children stay on task and learn. In addition, most children who complete First Steps do not need any further intervention (A. Golly, personal communication, February 21, 1997).
Without early intervention the development of antisocial behaviors follows a predictable pattern that increases in severity as the child grows older. Experts in children's antisocial behavior agree that:
Early intervention programs, such as First Steps, are far less costly - in terms of time and money - than alternative treatments, including (a) special education while the child is in elementary school, (b) residential facilities for children who are removed from their home and neighborhood school, and (c) incarceration for juvenile delinquents. Thus, early intervention to prevent antisocial behavior is not only effective, but cost efficient (Walker, Kavanagh, Stiller, Golly, Severson, and Feil, 1997).
* Cost figures from following sources: Early Intervention and Residential Facilities - Walker, Kavanagh, Stiller, Golly, Severson, and Feil, 1997; Special Education - George, 1997; Incarceration - Federal Bureau of Prisons, 1991.
Christenson, S., Sinclair, M., Thurlow, M., & Evelo, D. (1995). Tip the balance: Policies and practices that influence school engagement for youth at high risk for dropping out. ABC Dropout Prevention and Intervention Series. Washington, DC: US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.
Duncan, B., Forness, S.R., & Hartsough, C. (1995). Students identified as seriously emotionally disturbed in day treatment: Cognitive, psychiatric, and special education characteristics. Behavioral Disorders, 20, 238-252.
Federal Bureau of Prisons. (1991). Washington, DC: Department of Research and Evaluation.
Kazdin, A. (1987). Conduct disorders in childhood adolescents. London: Sage.
M. George, Lane Education Service District, Eugene, OR. (personal communication, February 21, 1997).
Walker, H.M., Colvin, G., & Ramsey, E. (1995). Antisocial behavior in school: Strategies and best practices. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.
Walker, H.M., Severson, H.H., & Feil, E.G. (1994). The early screening project: A proven child-find process. Longmont, CO: Sopris West.
Walker, H.M., Kavanagh, K., Stiller, B., Golly, A., Severson, H.H., & Feil, E.G. (1997). First Steps: An early intervention approach for preventing antisocial behavior. Manuscript submitted for publication.
|© 2001 The CECP is part of the American Institutes for Research (AIR), and is funded under a cooperative agreement with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education (ED), with supplemental funding from the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).|