Table 34Summary of results of allied health studies

InterventionStudy design/QualityStudy results and overall strength of evidence
Language and speech interventions
PECS, RPMT2 RCTs/1 good,258–261 1 poor263

1 Nonrandomized controlled trial/1 poor262,265

1 Prospective case series264
  • Mixed results for language acquisition.
  • Observed increases in language have not been maintained long-term or after treatment discontinuation.
  • Children most likely to benefit from RPMT in increasing joint attention had demonstrated at least 7 acts of joint attention in the pre-intervention assessment.
  • Strength of evidence for language interventions (PECS and RPMT) is insufficient.
Sensory/auditory interventions
Sensory integration interventions1 RCT/1 poor266

1 Prospective case series267,268
  • Some improvements in sensory problems in treatment groups; however, poor quality studies limit conclusions.
  • Strength of evidence for effect is insufficient.
Auditory integration interventions2 RCTs/2 fair269,270
  • Receptive or expressive language, cognitive skills, problem or adaptive behaviors did not improve significantly in the treatment groups.
  • Insufficient evidence to determine effects on language, adaptive behavior, and challenging behaviors.
Music and play therapy interventions1 RCT/1 poor89,271
  • Insufficient evidence to determine effects on social skills outcomes.
Other allied health interventions
Varied allied health interventions1 RCT/1 poor276

1 Nonrandomized controlled trial/1 poor274

6 Prospective case series272,273,275,277–279
  • Small, short-term studies of disparate interventions.
  • Insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness for any outcome.

PECS=Picture Exchange Communication System; RCT=randomized controlled trial; RPMT= Responsive Education and Prelinguistic Milieu Training

From: Discussion

Cover of Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, No. 26.
Warren Z, Veenstra-VanderWeele J, Stone W, et al.

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