Autism Review

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National Centre for Autism Studies Literature Review of Autism for HM Inspectorate of Education May 2005

Helen Marwick, Aline-Wendy Dunlop and Tommy MacKay

www.strath.ac.uk/autism-ncas

Authors

Dr. Helen Marwick, Co-Director, National Centre for Autism Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Strathclyde Professor Aline-Wendy Dunlop, Lead Director, National Centre for Autism Studies, Chair of Childhood & Primary Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Strathclyde Dr. Tommy Mackay, Co-Director, National Centre for Autism Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Strathclyde

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Contents
Acknowledgments Scope of review Key Findings Page 4 Page 5 Page 8 Page 10 Page 10 Page 12 Page 16 Page 19 Page 22 Page 27 Page 33 Page 34 Page 37 Page 39

SECTION 1. Overview of Autism
Background to autism, its causes and diagnosis Definition of autistic spectrum disorders Identification Prevalence Causes Outcomes Interventions The range of approaches used to teach children with autism Issues around Effectiveness of Interventions

SECTION 2. Evidence of the effectiveness of approaches
Review Method Presentation of evidence of effectiveness of approaches Structured education and environment Behavioural approaches Augmented Alternative Communication (AAC) systems/PECS Developmental and Interactive approaches Music therapy and interaction Parental programmes Peer mediated support Social interaction groups Socio-constructive/cognitive approaches Sensory and motor approaches Biomedical approaches

Page 39 Page 40 Page 42 Page 45 Page 48 Page 51 Page 56 Page 56 Page 58 Page 59 Page 70 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 78 Page 79 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 107

SECTION 3. Appraisal
Summary References Appendices Appendix 1: Example of sub – table used for each approach Appendix 2: Summary Table - Effectiveness and Appraisal of approach types in relation to teaching children with autism. Appendix 3: Key themes and methodologies for intervention in social interaction and understanding in ASD

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Acknowledgments
Eleni Konstantinidou who is working towards her Ph.D. in the National Centre for Autism Studies, for her support in gathering research material for this review. Dr. Fiona Knott, University of Reading, for the use of the tables she has prepared for Knott, F. & Dunlop, A-W (2005) Team Handbook, Developing Social Interaction and Understanding Pack (2nd edition) contained in appendix 2. Margaret Ritchie, Course Secretary, National Centre for Autism Studies, for her valuable support in the preparation of this document.

A note about terminology The terms autism, autism spectrum disorders and autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) will be used interchangeably in this report to mean the group of pervasive developmental disorders characterised by qualitative difficulties and differences in reciprocal social interactions, in reciprocal communication, and by a restricted repertoire of interests and activities. (World Health Organisation, 1993; American Psychiatric Association, 1994)

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Scope of Review
The National Centre for Autism Studies was commissioned to provide an up to date literature review of autism, which will provide background to the investigation of the current provision for children with ASD in Scotland. In accordance with requirements this review contains: • Background to autism, its causes and diagnosis • Information about the range of approaches used to teach children with autism, and the extent of use of each approach. This will include information from the United Kingdom and from international studies • A collation of the published evidence of the effectiveness of the various approaches. In recent years a number of reviews of the current knowledge base in autism have been undertaken. Usually reviews accompany policy documentation or needs assessment reports and provide the reader with a background against which to reference the key recommendations of such documents. Examples of such...
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