Preschoolers

Use of Social Stories to Improve Self-Regulation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics
Date Published: 
February 26, 2013
Abstract: 

Social stories, an intervention used to define a skill, concept or situation in socially appropriate terms, were used to promote self-regulation techniques in a self-contained preschool classroom. While implementation of self-regulation strategies varied among the children, all showed an increase in desired behaviors with the intervention.

Parent-child Interactions in Autism: Characteristics of Play

Source: 
Autism
Date Published: 
February 4, 2013
Abstract: 

Researchers examine parent-child dyads during structured and free play and find that that joint engagement lasts longer when parents engage their child at or slightly above the child's current level of play. Parents of children with autism often find it difficult to estimate their child's level, which can result in parents engaging at too high of a level and shortening the interaction.

Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies

Source: 
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
Date Published: 
January 16, 2013
Abstract: 

The Institute of Medicine issues a report in response to questions about the safety of the vaccination schedule for children under age six. Thorough examination of the immunization schedule reveals no major concerns associated with adherence to recommended practices.

Neural Mechanisms of Improvements in Social Motivation After Pivotal Response Treatment: Two Case Studies

Source: 
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date Published: 
October 27, 2012
Abstract: 

Researchers find increased activation to social stimuli in brain regions involved in social perception in two children with ASD after pivotal response treatment (PRT).

Interventions Addressing Social Impairment in Autism

Source: 
Current Psychiatry Reports
Date Published: 
October 4, 2012
Abstract: 

In this new review of intervention studies targeting social impairment in autism, authors encourage researchers to design new studies that: evaluate ingredients of effective interventions (e.g., required dose for therapeutic effect); include better outcome measures that can show that meaningful improvements have happened (e.g., spontaneous social initiations; sustained interactions); and include underserved and underrepresented participant groups, such as children with comorbidities, non-English speaking children, and minimally verbal children.

Randomized, Controlled Trial of the LEAP Model of Early Intervention for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education
Date Published: 
May 25, 2011
Year Published: 
2011

 

A 2011 study supports the effectiveness of an early intervention model for autism spectrum disorder designed to be used in an integrated classroom. Randomized controlled trials are considered to be the gold standard of evidence; however, due to their complexity and cost, only four other RCTs of comprehensive interventions for young children with autism had been completed at the time this article was published. Of these four, all were tested in segregated environments and involved one-on-one instruction at the beginning of the intervention. In contrast, the LEAP (Learning Experiences and Alternative Program for Preschoolers and Their Parents) preschool model uses teaching opportunities that arise naturally in an integrated setting and incorporates typically developing students by training them to support the social skills development of their peers with ASD. The LEAP model is also the first evidence-based intervention for ASD to be tested in a public school setting. In the study, researchers compared the performance of students in 28 classrooms where teachers received personal training and coaching support in the LEAP model over two years to the performance of teachers in 28 classrooms who received only training manuals and written materials. While all children had equivalent skill levels at the start of the intervention, after two years the students in the coached classrooms showed marked improvement in symptoms of autism, cognitive scores, language development, social skills, and a reduction in problem behavior. The teachers' fidelity to the LEAP strategies predicted the students' level of improvement. These findings suggest that successfully adhering to LEAP strategies produces broad developmental improvements. It costs much less than other commonly used one-on-one strategies -- an estimated $20,000 per child annually compared to $45,000 - $69,000.

--IACC 2011 Summary of Advances in ASD Research