Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology



Review

Autism interventions: a critical update


Francis  a1 c1
a1 Oxford University, University Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Park Hospital for Children, Old Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LQ, UK.

Abstract

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.

(Accepted March 15 2005)


Correspondence:
c1 Oxford University, University Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Park Hospital for Children, Old Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LQ, UK. E-mail: kostas.francis@psychiatry.oxford.ac.uk