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Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
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Evidence-Based Comprehensive Treatments for Early
Sally J. Rogers & Laurie A. Vismara
M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California Davis,
Version of record first published: 15 Apr 2008.
To cite this article: Sally J. Rogers & Laurie A. Vismara (2008): Evidence-Based Comprehensive Treatments for Early Autism, Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 37:1, 8-38 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15374410701817808
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Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 37(1), 8–38, 2008 Copyright # Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 1537-4416 print=1537-4424 online
Evidence-Based Comprehensive Treatments for Early Autism
Sally J. Rogers and Laurie A. Vismara
Downloaded by [Nova Southeastern University] at 15:11 22 March 2013
M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California Davis
Early intervention for children with autism is currently a politically and scientifically complex topic. Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated positive effects in both short-term and longer term studies. The evidence suggests that early intervention programs are indeed beneficial for children with autism, often improving developmental functioning and decreasing maladaptive behaviors and symptom severity at the level of group analysis. Whether such changes lead to significant improvements in terms of greater independence and vocational and social functioning in adulthood is also unknown. Given the few randomized controlled treatment trials that have been carried out, the few models that have been tested, and the large differences in interventions that are being published, it is clear that the field is still very early in the process of determining (a) what kinds of interventions are most efficacious in early autism, (b) what variables moderate and mediate treatment gains and improved outcomes following intervention, and (c) the degree of both short-term and long-term improvements that can reasonably be expected. To examine these current research needs, the empirical studies of comprehensive treatments for young children with autism published since 1998 were reviewed. Lovaas’s treatment meet Chambless and colleague’s (Chambless et al., 1998; Chambless et al., 1996) criteria for ‘‘well-established’’ and no treatment meets the ‘‘probably efficacious’’ criteria, though three treatments meet criteria for ‘‘possibly efficacious’’ (Chambless & Hollon, 1998). Most studies were either Type 2 or 3 in terms of their methodological rigor based on Nathan and Gorman’s (2002) criteria. Implications of these findings are also discussed in relation to practice guidelines as well...