Early Intervention Critical to Autism Treatment

Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Columbus Children's Hospital, Ohio, USA.
Pediatric Annals (Impact Factor: 0.61). 11/2003; 32(10):677-84. DOI: 10.3928/0090-4481-20031001-09
Source: PubMed


It is still not universally accepted within the scientific community that the habilitation of autistic children is possible, or that their ability to function without supports in regular education by third, fourth, or fifth grade happens as a direct result of EIBI. However, using the outcome studies that have been reported, the rate of children reaching a best-outcome status appears to be between about 10% and 47%. There is a more global way to look at the effects of EIBI or behavioral intervention. Even if the child retains many characteristics of autism, the usual outcome of treatment is that the child learns useful skills. Behavioral intervention results in effective and efficient learning, which is precisely what it aims to accomplish and what behavioral techniques have been developed to do. Children and families have been able to achieve much more than many would ever have believed before EIBI became a realistic possibility.

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    • "One potential explanation for this is that understanding of the syndrome has developed, thereby enabling greater recognition and diagnosis (Medical Research Council 2001; Charman 2002; Fombonne 2003). Easier access to diagnosis, something parents have traditionally had to 'fight' service providers to obtain, is almost unanimously welcomed by autism focused literature, as is the development of systems of early intervention (see, for example, Robins, Fein, and Barton 2001; Charman and Baird 2002; Butter, Wynn, and Mulick 2003). It is argued within the literature that prompt diagnosis and intervention is essential for parents whose children are behaving in ways that are causing considerable stress and concern to them and who are seeking explanations and support (Wing 1996). "
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