Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders

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This chapter provides an overview of the treatment of autism spectrum disorders. This is both an exCiting and confusing time within treatment for autism; early identification continues to allow for more intensive and effective early intervention, prevalence estimates of autism are suggesting increased incidence, and claims for effective treatment abound. Consumers are faced with myriad choices for treatment, and have difficulty navigating the claims and opinions of professionals from multiple perspectives and disciplines.

In this chapter, we review the evidence for the effectiveness of behavior analytic interventions for autism. We also review the evidence for nonbehavior analytic interventions. In addition, we describe interventions that have been targeted to individuals with Asperger's syndrome, and we discuss the relevance and use of functional assessment procedures for developing effective behavior intervention plans for individuals with ASDs. We also highlight new directions within treatment, including some social skill interventions and information on early identification.