Long-term outcome of children with autism who received different forms of early intervention during their preschool years: a pilot study of 15 young adults
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CitationLong-term outcome of children with autism who received different forms of early intervention during their preschool years: a pilot study of 15 young adults 2018, 6 (1):28 Scandinavian Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology
AbstractBackground: Studies on early intervention have reported significant gains for many children with autism. Knowledge on how these children fare in adulthood is limited. Objective: To examine long-term outcome of children with autism who received different forms of early intervention. Method: Participants were 15 young people who had all been diagnosed with ICD-10 childhood autism during the preschool years. Five received intervention based on the UCLA model for early intensive behavioral intervention, and 10 received eclectic treatment. Participants were followed from their first autism diagnosis during the preschool years (time 1) to the age of six years (time 2). The participants are now in their twenties (time 3), and at this point in time, information on autism symptoms, co-occurring disorders, quality of life, functioning, participation, adaptive behavior, and overall outcome was gathered from parents. Six of the participants answered questionnaires on quality of life, functioning, and participation. Results: The groups were comparable on all measures at time 1. Reassessment at time 2 showed that the early intensive behavioral intervention group had made significant gains in IQ, and that autism symptoms had decreased significantly, whereas such changes were not found for the eclectic treatment group. At time 3, most participants had considerable autism symptoms. Approximately half of them had received diagnosis of a co-occurring condition. Their quality of life and adaptive behavior was less favorable than that of the general population, but only a third had "poor" overall outcome. However, at time 3, hardly any differences were found between the groups. Conclusions: To maintain gains made during the preschool years, appropriate intervention and services may need to be extended into adulthood. These services should take into account the perceived needs of the individual, as expressed by himself/herself and his/her family.
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RightsArchived with thanks to Scandinavian Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology