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Review: possible benefits from early intensive behavioural and developmental interventions in children with autism spectrum disorders, but more research needed

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Are early intensive behavioural and developmental interventions effective at enhancing developmental outcomes in children aged 12 and below with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)?


Effects on core ASD symptoms and other symptoms commonly associated with ASDs, including cognitive functioning and behavioural challenges; harms/adverse events.



Systematic review

Data sources

MEDLINE, PsycINFO and ERIC were searched from 2000 to May 2010. Additional articles were identified through hand searches of reference lists of all included articles and review of clinical trials related to therapies for ASDs.

Study selection and analysis

All study designs which assessed early intensive behavioural and developmental interventions were eligible for inclusion, except for single case reports. Studies had to be published during or after 2000, involved 10 or more participants aged 12 years or younger with a diagnosis of ASD and could include studies with children younger than 2 who were at risk for ASD.

Main results

Of 34 studies met inclusion criteria, 23 were classified as UCLA/Lovaas-based interventions (EIBIs), 4 as comprehensive interventions for younger children and 7 as parent-training protocols. EIBI approaches: The EIBI studies included one randomised …

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