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J Autism Dev Disord. 2005 Dec;35(6):695-708; discussion 709-11.

Challenges in evaluating psychosocial interventions for Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

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University of Michigan, Austim and Communication Disorders Center 1111, Ann Arbor 48109, USA.


In 2002, the National Institutes of Health sponsored a meeting concerning methodological challenges of research in psychosocial interventions in Autism Spectrum Disorders. This paper provides a summary of the presentations and the discussions that occurred during this meeting. Recommendations to federal and private agencies included the need for randomized clinical trials of comprehensive interventions for autism as the highest, but not the sole priority. Ongoing working groups were proposed to address psychosocial interventions with a focus on relevant statistics, standardized documentation and methods of diagnosis, development of outcome measures, establishment of standards in research; and the need for innovative treatment designs, including application of designs from other research areas to the study of interventions in ASD.

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