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Last Updated on : 18th Nov, 2015

 
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Autism

As can be seen below, Individual Comprehensive ABA and Teacher-implemented, focused ABA+DSP have the best research support; there are several other treatments with strong support.

Please click here to read more about specific evidence-based treatment programs for autism.

Early Autism

Level

Intervention

Primary Outcomes Reported in Research

Level 1: Well-Established
What does this mean?

Individual, comprehensive ABA

  • IQ/DQ
  • Parent-rated adaptive functioning

Teacher-implemented, focused ABA+DSP

  • Joint engagement in play activities with caregivers and teachers
Level 2: Probably Efficacious
What does this mean?

Individual, focused ABA for augmentative and alternative communication

  • Use of picture symbols to make requests

Individual, focused ABA+DSP

  • Joint engagement in play activities with caregivers and other adults
  • Initiation of joint attention
  • Imitation
  • Language and cognitive skills

Focused DSP parent training

  • Joint engagement in play activities with caregivers and other adults
  • Communication with caregivers
  • Make-believe play
Level 3: Possibly Efficacious
What does this mean?

Individual, comprehensive ABA+DSP

  • DQ
  • Parent-rated adaptive skills

Comprehensive ABA classrooms

  • Examiner-rated ASD symptoms
  • Language
  • DQ
  • Teacher-rated social Skills

Focused ABA for spoken communication

  • Use of spoken words for joint engagement or requesting

Teacher-implemented, focused DSP

  • Initiation of joint attention with teachers
  • Engagement with objects during interactions with teachers

Focused, ABA parent-training

  • Parent-reported adaptive behavior
  • Use of utterances or words to communicate
Level 4: Experimental
What does this mean?

Comprehensive, ABA+DSP classroomsa

 

Focused ABA+DSP parent training

 

Level 5: Questionable Efficacy
What does this mean?

None noted among reviewed studies

 

NOTE:  ABA = Applied behavior analysis; DSP = Developmental social-pragmatic

Source: Smith T. & Iadarola, S. (2015) Evidence base update for autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology​,  44, ​897-922.

 

 
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