The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has released its annual list of scientific studies that represent significant progress–naming FPG’s groundbreaking study on autism treatments one of the field’s top 20 advances in 2013.
It was the first study designed to compare longstanding comprehensive treatment models for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A team of researchers from FPG and three other universities determined that preschoolers with ASD in high-quality classrooms make gains during the school year regardless of the treatment model–findings with substantial implications for the field.
“Previous research has shown that when children with autism spectrum disorders have access to high quality early intervention, the result is improved developmental performance, but until now debate has persisted over which approach to use,” said FPG fellow Brian Boyd, shortly after the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders first published the findings in 2013. Boyd was the study’s co-principal investigator and lead author of the article.
Early diagnosis and effective intervention can reduce ASD’s lifetime $3.2 million price tag by two-thirds, and more children are being diagnosed with autism each year. Two frequently used comprehensive treatment models for ASD have a long history: LEAP (Learning Experiences and Alternative Program for Preschoolers and their Parents) and TEACCH (now known only by its acronym).
Source: Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
Available at: http://fpg.unc.edu/news/fpg-study-autism-treatments-makes-list-top-advances