O. Ivar Løvaas
Starting in the early 1960s, Dr. Løvaas directed an elegant and systematic program of research on autism that continues to the present day. He was considered the world's leading authority on applications of behavior analysis in autism. He was the first to provide experimental evidence that behavior disorders such as self-injury may have an operant component and to show that intensive behavioral intervention begun at an early age could eliminate all observable signs of autism by the time a child reaches school age. Based largely on his work, national groups such as the Autism Society of America, NIH, NIMH, and USOE have endorsed behavior analysis as one of the few "science-based" approaches to treatment and as a best clinical practice.