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Spoken language shows some improvement following intervention for children with autism: but for which children and why?
  1. Kristelle Hudry1,2,
  2. Stefanie Dimov2
  1. 1Victorian Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  2. 2Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kristelle Hudry, Victorian Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre & Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, La Trobe University, Kingsbury Drive, Bundoora, Victoria 3068, Australia; k.hudry{at}

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ABSTRACT FROM: Hampton LH, Kaiser AP. Intervention effects on spoken-language outcomes for children with autism: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Intellect Disabil Res 2016;60:444–63.

What is already known on this topic

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder of core social-communication impairment and behavioural inflexibility, often accompanied by delayed language development.1 A key research goal is to understand which interventions are effective, for whom and to what extent. Existing meta-analyses have considered whether particular approaches improve core symptoms, cognitive ability and adaptive behaviour in autism.2

Methods of the study

This systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the effects of early behavioural interventions on language outcomes for young children with autism (<8 years). The 26 key studies were published between 1980 and 2014 and included a total of 1738 participants (mean age =3.3 years, SD=0.91). These included data on child language outcomes following a variety of behavioural/developmental interventions versus treatment as usual (TAU). …

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