There are many interventions available for children with autism, but the effectiveness of these interventions is the subject of great debate. The researchers conducted a meta-analysis to summarize the effects of seven different types of intervention for children diagnosed with autism (up to 8 years old). When only including high-quality studies, they found that developmental interventions (e.g., Hanen and DIR/Floortime) and Naturalistic-Developmental-Behavioral-Interventions (“NDBIs,” such as Enhanced Milieu Teaching, Reciprocal Imitation Training, and SCERTS) had significant effects on language and social communication. However, the size of these effects was generally small. Evidence for the effectiveness of behavioral interventions was only found when including studies of low methodological quality, making it difficult to interpret the reliability of their results. Overall, this study suggests that NDBIs and developmental interventions may be effective for children with autism, and higher-quality research is still necessary to understand the effectiveness of other types of interventions.
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