Leap forward in understanding ASD therapy

The ability to match children with ASD to appropriate programs was currently a gap in clinical management, the researchers said.

In a pilot study of 21 children aged two to five years, a team at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre at La Trobe University have elucidated some of the predictors of developmental gain in children being treated with the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM).

The ESDM, a behavioural intervention which combines regular professional therapy sessions with daily home intervention by parents, was endorsed by the federal government for use under the Helping Children with Autism scheme.

“What we’re trying to understand is why some children make more gains than others,” lead researcher Dr Giacomo Vivanti (PhD) said.

The research found that children with more advanced skills in functional use of objects – such as spontaneously picking up a toy hammer to push a peg into a hole rather than playing