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Autism. 2010 Jan;14(1):67-82. doi: 10.1177/1362361309340030.

Effectiveness of special nursery provision for children with autism spectrum disorders.

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Department of Psychology, Swansea University, Swansea, UK.


The effectiveness of three local authority early teaching interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) was studied. Thirty-three children (2:6 to 4:0 years old) received one of three early teaching interventions: a 1:1 home-based programme, and two different forms of special nursery placement. Measures from the Psycho-Educational Profile, British Abilities Scale, and Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales were taken over a 10 month period. The study showed moderate effect sizes for improvements in all scales for children attending a generalized special nursery placement, and for those attending a special nursery placement solely for children with ASDs. Children receiving a home-based 1:1 programme with similar intervention hours showed moderate effect sizes for the PEP and BAS but not for the VABS. These data show that special nursery placements can offer benefits to children with ASDs, especially in the area of adaptive behavioural functioning.

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