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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2005 Jul;47(7):493-9.

Autism interventions: a critical update.

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Oxford University, University Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Park Hospital for Children, Old Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LQ, UK.


As yet, there is no aetiology-based intervention for autistic spectrum disorders (ASD); despite this, parents and professionals still need to make informed decisions regarding treatment options for children with ASD. This paper seeks to evaluate widely used interventions according to specific research criteria. Interventions presented are grouped into psychoeducational/behavioural approaches, psychopharmacological interventions, and the less traditional or complementary approaches. The conclusions are less than favourable: while some interventions do have empirical support, others have been proven to have no positive effects, and furthermore, there are no robust data favouring one approach over the others. Nevertheless, several criteria for choosing between treatment options are briefly discussed.

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