Autism Intervention is first of its Kind to Show Reduction in Symptom Severity Ages 7-11
United Kingdom - An early intervention for autism aimed at helping parents communicate with their child has been shown to have an effect on reducing the severity of autism symptoms, and this reduction continued for six years after the end of treatment, according to a study published in The Lancet. The study led by the University of Manchester, King’s College London and Newcastle University (UK) is the first to identify a long-term effect of an early intervention for autism, and is consistent with UK guidance supporting the use of early intervention.
The researchers found that children who had received the intervention aged 2-4 had less severe overall symptoms six years later, with improved social communication and reduced repetitive behaviors, although no changes were seen in other areas such as language or anxiety. However, they say that difficulties remain and additional ongoing support will usually be needed as the children get older.
“This type of early intervention is distinctive in being designed to work with parents to help improve parent-child communication at home,” says Professor Jonathan Green, University of Manchester and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, who led the study. “The advantage of this approach over a direct therapist-child intervention is that it has potential to affect the everyday life of the child. Our findings are encouraging, as they represent an improvement in the core symptoms of autism previously thought very resistant to change. This is not a ‘cure’, in the sense that the children who demonstrated improvements will still show remaining symptoms to a variable extent, but it does suggests that working with parents to interact with their children in this way can lead to improvements in symptoms over the long-term.” Continue>
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