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Transcript of Autism
Effective Austism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) treatment plans vary because no two children with autism are the same and multiple factors must be considered when determining appropriate interventions.
Applied Behavior Analysis
"ABA" is an umbrella model, there is no single ABA program.
Different types of ABA:
Discrete Trial Training, Verbal Behavior, Natural Environment Training, Pivotal Response Training
Effectiveness of ABA
The purpose of pharmacological therapies is to treat comorbid symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, repetitive/obsessive behaviors, aberrant behaviors, seizures, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
Main types of drugs used to treat core symptoms
Language and social deficits cannot be treated with medication at this time.
As Autism incidence has rapidly increased so too have therapy options including alternative treatments. Some of the alternative treatments have been proven to help comorbid symptoms in some children. For example some Autistic children suffer from bowel difficulties and benefit from alternative diets such as casein free or other elimination diets but this has not been studied well and certainly does not apply to all children with autism and will NOT cure their other autism symptoms.
Some alternative therapies are not only ineffective but are dangerous. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and chelation therapy are not recommended.
The goal of treatment should be to help the child deal with the symptoms of Autism to increase social integration, quality of life and independence etc. not to cure Autism.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Allan, R., (2014). HSP 2250 Functions of Behaviour in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Course Manual,
Autism Society of Canada. (n.d.). Evaluating Programs. Retrieved September 8, 2014, from http://www.autismsocietycanada.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&Itemid=55&lang=en
Autism Speaks. (n.d.). How Is Autism Treated? Retrieved September 8, 2014, from http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/treatment
Brunner, D., & Seung, H. (2009). Evaluation of the Efficacy of Communication-Based Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Literature Review. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 31(15). (2009, January 20). Retrieved September 10, 2014.
De Bruin, C., Deppeler, J., Moore, D., & Diamond, N. (2013). Public School-Based Interventions for Adolescents and Young Adults With an Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Analysis. Review of Educational Research, 83, 521-521. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
Interactive Autism Network. (2010, June 15). Autism Treatment: What do we really know? Retrieved September 9, 2014, from HTTP://WWW.IANCOMMUNITY.ORG/CS/WHAT_DO_WE_KNOW/OVERVIEW
Lai, M., Baron-Cohen, S., & Lombardo,, M. (2014). Autism. Lancet, 383, 896-910. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/ S0140-6736(13)61539-1
Laurent, A., Wetherby, A., Rubin, E., & Rubin. (2007, January 1). The SCERTS Model. Retrieved September 9, 2014, from http://www.scerts.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=2
Mesibov, G., & Shea, V. (2011). Evidence-Based Practices and Autism. Autism, 15(1), 114-114. Retrieved September 1, 2014, from http://www.sagepub.co.uk/journalspermissions.nav
Munshi, K., Gonzalez-Heydrich, J., Augenstein, T., & D’Angelo, E. (2011). Evidence-Based Treatment Approach to Autism Spectrum Disorders. PEDIATRIC ANNALS, 40(11), 569-574.
Myrtle Beach National. (2008, January 1). Autism Therapy - ABA. Retrieved September 8, 2014, from youtube.com/watch?v=NbVG8lYEsNs
Prizant, B., Wetherby, A., Rubin, E., & Laurent, A., (2010). The SCERTS Model and Evidence Based Practice. Retrieved September 9th, 2014, from
Rogers, S., & Vismara, L. (2008). Evidence-Based Comprehensive Treatments for Early Autism. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 37(1), 8–38-8–38.
Treatment for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder often begins with behavior therapies, interventions, strategies or programs. There is a diverse range of behavior treatments.
Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) based on ABA or Lovas method is a rapidly expanding field. Some programs start early intervention as early as at 6 months of age.
Behavior programs target specific skills or behaviors or both, which affect overall functioning.
ASD treatments should be evidence-based (also called best practice). Treatments that are evidence-based are scientifically researched and have been shown to be effective in controlled trials.
There is no single "treatment" or "cure" for ASDr, but there are multiple options for treating the core symptoms of Autism (such as communication difficulties) and comorbid conditions (such as anxiety or hyperactivity). The most effective interventions are multidisciplinary, complex and are tailored to the individual needs of the child.
: associated or co-occurring symptoms or disorders.
& Social Skills
A wide variety of specific intervention programs and general strategies exist for working on language and communication skills with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This is an important component of ASD treatment plans since deficits in social skills, language and communication are common for ASD children.
Picture Exchange Communication System
Functional Communication Training (FCT)
chaining, modeling, task sequencing, strategy training, prompting, object training, social stories, peer-mediations, and time delay.
contingency mapping, error correction, differential reinforcement of other behavior, praise, and embedded instruction.
self-monitoring, self-reinforcement, self-recording, self-management, modeling, prompting, or external reinforcement.
video modeling, video scheduling, and video prompting
“SC” - Social Communication / “ER” - Emotional Regulation /
“TS” – Transactional Support
SCERTS is a broad approach to treating Autism that involves a multidisciplinary team and can be applied in a variety of contexts and with any combination of symptoms. The focus of SCERTS is
"The SCERTS Model is most concerned with helping persons with autism to achieve “Authentic Progress”, which is defined as the ability to learn and spontaneously
apply functional and relevant skills
in a variety of settings and with a
variety of partners."
SCERTS has been found to be an
effective intervention approach.
hyperbaric oxygen therapy
September 13, 2014
Medical interventions (pharmacological)
Educational/family interventions (communication etc.)
Occupational therapy, physiotherapy, sensory therapy
"There are few studies on combined pharmacotherapy and psychosocial interventions, but those available demonstrate superior efficacy."
Variability of autistic children. ASD is an umbrella diagnosis, children exhibit a wide range of symptoms and comorbid conditions. Treatments/interventions rarely address one symptom, making it difficult to isolate single variables.
Different researchers use different methods to evaluate or determine effectiveness.
Comorbid conditions can influence or interfere with results.
Many of the intervention research studies have been done with ASD children placed in private or specialized settings, not in public school settings.
A large bulk of the research is based on single-subject design.
A small percentage of the total ASD research is on effectiveness of intervention.
Some research is based on small population sizes and large age ranges.
Duration of the studies are short. Longitudinal studies (over individual's lifetime) need to be done.
ASD diagnostic criteria has changed over time.
Types of Intervention