A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), published by Elsevier, reports that the type of one-on-one treatment plans delivered to toddlers, aged 12-30 months, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) did not lead to any significantly different outcomes. Neither the type of evidence-based intervention provided, nor the number of hours of therapy were shown to have an impact.
The treatments, or intervention methods, delivered by specialized staff to the very young, during the study were either the Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) or Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). The researchers found negligible overall effects on receptive or expressive language development, nonverbal abilities, or autism symptom severity after one year of direct intervention, which also included twice-monthly parental coaching.
"Our results should reassure parents who do not have access to the exact treatment type or the number of treatment hours that they would ideally like their recently diagnosed toddlers to receive," said Sally Rogers, PhD, lead author of the study and Professor Emeritus at the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and the MIND Institute. "Given the lack of differences across these four groups, it may well be that it's the common elements rather than the differences that are resulting in children's similar progress."