Authors: Eldevik S, Hastings RP, Jahr E, Hughes JC
Title: Outcomes of Behavioral Intervention for Children with Autism in Mainstream Pre-School Settings
Source: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 2012 42(2): 210-220
Year: 2012
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 04/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - N
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

We evaluated outcomes for 31 children with autism (2–6 years of age at intake) who received behavioral intervention in mainstream pre-school settings and a comparison group of 12 children receiving treatment as usual. After 2 years, children receiving behavioral intervention had higher IQ scores (Hedges g = 1.03 (95% CI = .34, 1.72) and adaptive behavior composite scores (Hedges g = .73 (95% CI = .05, 1.36). Despite probably fewer intervention hours, these group level outcomes were comparable to studies providing more intensive intervention. Individual child data also showed positive results with 19.4% achieving change at a reliable level for IQ; but a lower percentage than found in recent meta-analysis research. Strengths and weaknesses of the mainstream pre-school delivery model are discussed.

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