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Z Kinder Jugendpsychiatr Psychother. 2019 Apr 11:1-10. doi: 10.1024/1422-4917/a000661. [Epub ahead of print]

Case-control study of the low intensive autism-specific early behavioral intervention A-FFIP: Outcome after one year.

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1 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, Autism Research and Intervention Center of Excellence Frankfurt, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
2 Institute of Medical Biometry and Informatics, University of Heidelberg, Germany.


Abstracts: Objective: In current international research, early intervention in children with autism-spectrum disorder (ASD) focuses on naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions (NDBI). The manualized Frankfurt Early Intervention Program for preschool-aged children with ASD (A-FFIP) implements NDBI principles within a low-intensity approach of 2 h intervention/week. The present case-control study established effect sizes of change in autistic symptoms, comorbid behavioral problems as well as IQ after one year. Methodology: An intervention group (N = 20; age: 3.4-7.9 years) and a treatment-as-usual control group (N = 20; age: 3.2-7.3 years) of children with ASD were matched for developmental and chronological age. The outcome measures used were the ADOS severity score, the Child Behavior Checklist, and cognitive development. Results: After one year, the A-FFIP group showed a trend towards greater improvement in autistic symptoms (η2 = .087 [95 %-CI: .000-.159]) and significantly greater improvements in cognitive development (η2 = .206 [CI: .012-.252]) and global psychopathology (η2 = .144 [CI: .001-.205]) compared to the control group. Conclusion: The efficacy of A-FFIP should be established in a larger, sufficiently powered, randomized controlled study.


A-FFIP; ASD; ASS; Autismus; Frühförderung; NDBI; autism; early intervention

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