Paying Tribute to Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas

By Marlena Smith

In a recent article published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Tristram Smith and Svein Eikeseth pay tribute to Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas, a pioneer of applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment for autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Lovaas dedicated 40 years to autism research and his approach to ABA has transformed autism treatment.

Dr. Lovaas was a mentor to many including Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, the founder and executive director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). Dr. Granpeesheh studied under Dr. Lovaas at UCLA, and she contributed to Dr. Lovaas’ 1987 study, which found early intensive ABA intervention to produce remarkable gains in children with autism.

Dr. Lovaas pasted away this year at the age of 83. His lifework has changed the lives of countless children with autism and their families. To read about Dr. Lovaas’ many contributions to the field of autism and ABA you can access Smith and Eikeseth’s tribute at


Smith, T., & Eikeseth, S. (2010). O. Ivar Lovaas: Pioneer of Applied Behavior Analysis and Intervention for Children with Autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi:10.1007/s10803-010-1162-0

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