Longitudinal Follow-Up of Children With Autism Receiving Targeted Interventions on Joint Attention and Play

Center for Autism Research and Treatment, University of California at Los Angeles Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA.
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 7.26). 05/2012; 51(5):487-95. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2012.02.019
Source: PubMed


This study examines the cognitive and language outcomes of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over a 5-year period after receiving targeted early interventions that focused on joint attention and play skills.
Forty children from the original study (n = 58) had complete data at the 5-year follow-up.
In all, 80% of children had achieved functional use of spoken language with baseline play level predicting spoken language at the 5-year follow-up. Of children who were using spoken language at age 8 years, several baseline behaviors predicted their later ability, including earlier age of entry into the study, initiating joint attention skill, play level, and assignment to either the joint attention or symbolic play intervention group. Only baseline play diversity predicted cognitive scores at age 8 years.
This study is one of the only long-term follow-up studies of children who participated in preschool early interventions aimed at targeting core developmental difficulties. The study findings suggest that focusing on joint attention and play skills in comprehensive treatment models is important for long-term spoken language outcomes.

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Available from: Amanda Gulsrud, Mar 09, 2015
    • "These ideas are then supported by the adult with prompting, when necessary, to expand the child's diversity of play skills and increase longer dyadic play periods. The efficacy of this intervention in multiple, rigorous, randomized, controlled trials resulted in increased play diversity (i.e., a greater range of different play acts) and higher play level in children with autism relative to controls (Kasari et al. 2006; Kasari et al. 2008; Kasari et al. 2010; Kasari et al. 2012). Interventions targeting play skills in children with autism may yield important information for the study of play in all children. "
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    • "As JASPER is based on a typical developmental model, involving both developmental and behavioral strategies to effect change in children, it falls within a category of behavioral interventions, now labeled Naturalistic, Developmental, Behavioral Interventions (NDBI; Schreibman et al., 2015). Undoubtedly, several other NDBI models involve similar strategies to JASPER, but one difference is the consistency in which JASPER studies have yielded significant effects on core impairments, whether mediated by therapists, parents or teachers (Kasari, Gulsrud, Freeman, Paparella, & Hellemann, 2012; Kasari, Paparella, Freeman, & Jahromi, 2008; Kasari et al., 2006 Kasari et al., , 2014 Kasari et al., , 2015). Future studies testing active ingredients of these various models will be important to determine if mirrored pacing, in particular, is an active ingredient across multiple models of early intervention. "
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