Saturday, September 24, 2011

Effective therapies for autism

A report prepared by Vanderbilt Evidence-based Practice Center in the US presents the results of a meta-analysis of the scientific literature regarding effective therapies for ASD. This study takes the published results of 159 studies and identifies which medical and behavioural therapies appear to be effective at treating the symptoms and core challenges. Of the 159 studies, the report finds only 13 well designed studies, with 90 being poorly designed. In terms of medical treatments, respiridone and aripiprazole are somewhat effective in reducing challenging behaviours, despite noteable side-effects. Intensive behavioural intervention also shows promise, and further research in this area for the age group of <2 year-olds is required. This is the most comprehensive assessment of the current state of ASD therapies, based on evidence-based practice. The report consists of a preliminary summary of the study followed by a 100+ pages of study details.
This report, free online, is essential reading for those in the ASD community. Given the large amount of research currently undertaken, new and revised therapies are sure to be additionally relevant in the very near future. 
Download the report yourself, here.

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