Early Interventions for Children With an Autism Spectrum Disorder

CE Credit: 2

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Length: 110 minutes

***Due to lighting & audio constraints at the convention center, the video for this session is dim and the audio is low. Headphones or external computer speakers will help***

Session offered by Division 53.

Significant progress has been made toward developing effective early interventions for children with ASD with the goal of accelerating general developmental outcomes (National Research Council, 2001). Outcomes are typically measured in terms of IQ and adaptive behavior. Addressing cognitive and behavioral functioning is critical to improving quality of life of children with autism and their families. However, early intensive behavioral interventions (the most common evidence based treatments) have had only modest effect on the core deficits of children with autism that are likely the most deleterious features of the disability. Core deficits include early social communication abilities, such as joint attention, joint engagement and symbolic play. Qualitative differences or a complete absence of these behaviors often raise the first red flags for parents early in the child’s development.

New trends in early intervention research include treatments that target these core deficits, and there are promising data suggesting their efficacy. This symposium will focus on these interventions and other new trends with implications for clinical practice. Talks will examine the earliest and most persistent signs of the disorder, treatments that are personalized to maximize optimal outcomes, and transportation of active ingredients of autism treatments to clinical practice.

The first talk will focus on the identification, assessment and screening of at risk infants, and the challenges in offering appropriate, developmentally based interventions. Implications for community clinicians will be discussed. The second talk will address the heterogeneity of autism characteristics, and examine child characteristics as predictors of treatment response. Recommendations will address adapting current treatments to be personalized for optimal outcomes. The final talk will examine the active ingredients of early interventions, and the extent to which these active ingredients can be deployed into community based interventions with the possibility of increasing treatment effectiveness for young children with autism.

Learning Objective 1
Identify core developmental deficits of autism and the efficacy of early interventions aimed at these core impairments.

Learning Objective 2
Identify at least three elements of screening, assessment and intervention that can be transported to community practice, and likely to improve outcomes for children with autism.

Presenters: Connie Kasari, PhD (Chair); Linda Watson, EdD; Laura Schreibman, PhD; Connie Kasari, PhD

Supplementary Materials

  • Watson_APA_ID&EI_ASD
  • Schreibaman-APA8-6-11
  • KASARI APA Washington 2011