School Age Outcomes of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Who Received Community-Based Early Interventions
This study followed children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from early intervention into their early schooling years, when they were aged between 6 and 9 years, on autism symptom severity and cognitive functioning. The children, matched at pre-intervention, were compared on type of community provided service: 31 were in receipt of community-based group Early Start Denver Model and 28 had received other community provisions for ASD. Irrespective of groups, cognitive functioning was found to have significantly improved by school age compared to pre-intervention. Autism symptom severity increased during the same developmental period, seemingly driven by an increase in restricted and repetitive behaviours over time. In contrast, both groups displayed improved social affect by school age.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Early Start Denver Model Community Early intervention Long-term School age
We thank Dr Giacomo Vivanti, the team at the Victorian Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre (ASELCC), Victoria, Australia, and the AEIOU Foundation (AEIOU), Queensland, Australia, for their contribution.
All authors made a considerable contribution to the conception, design, drafting, and revising of the paper prior to publication. Authors have been listed in order of their contribution.
Research materials related to the paper may be accessed by contacting the corresponding author.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, text revised (4th Edn.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- Australian Government. (2010). Early Learning and Care Centres Program Guidelines. Retrieved May 4, 2017, from https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/06_2015/early_learning_and_care_centres_program_guidelines.pdf.
- Boyd, B. A., Hume, K., McBee, M. T., Alessandri, M., Gutierrez, A., Johnson, L., … Odom, S. L. (2014). Comparative efficacy of LEAP, TEACCH and non-model-specific special education programs for preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(2), 366–380. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1877-9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Burns, T. G., King, T. Z., & Spencer, K. S. (2012). Mullen Scales of Early Learning: The utility in assessing children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy. Applied Neuropsychology, 2(1), 33–42. https://doi.org/10.1080/21622965.2012.682852.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Eapen, V., Črnčec, R., & Walter, A. (2013). Clinical outcomes of an early intervention program for preschool children with autism spectrum disorder in a community group setting. BMC Pediatrics, 13(3). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2431-13-3.
- Frost, L. A., & Bondy, A. S. (1994). The picture exchange communication system training manual. Cherry Hill, NJ: PECs, Inc.Google Scholar
- Granpeesheh, D., Dixon, D. R., Tarbox, J., Kaplan, A. M., & Wilke, A. E. (2009). The effects of age and treatment intensity on behavioral intervention outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 3(4), 1014–1022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2009.06.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hume, K., Boyd, B., McBee, M., Coman, D., Gutierrez, A., Shaw, E. … Odom, S. (2011). Assessing implementation of comprehensive treatment models for young children with ASD: Reliability and validity of two measures. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5(4), 1430–1440. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2011.02.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lord, C., Risi, S., Lambrecht, L., Cook, E. Jr., Leventhal, B., DiLavore, P., … Rutter, M. (2000). The autism diagnostic observation schedule—generic: A standard measure of social and communication deficits associated with the spectrum of autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30(3), 205–223. https://doi.org/10.1023/a:1005592401947.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lord, C., Rutter, M., DiLavore, P. C., & Risi, S. (2002). Autism diagnostic observation schedule manual. Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
- Lord, C., Rutter, M., DiLavore, P. C., Risi, S., Gotham, K., & Bishop, S. L. (2012). Autism diagnostic observation schedule: ADOS-2. CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
- Lord, C., Rutter, M., & Le Couteur, A. (1994). Autism diagnostic interview-revised: A revised version of a diagnostic interview for caregivers of individuals with possible pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 24(5), 659–685. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02172145.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Mullen, E. M. (1995). Mullen scales of early learning manual. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
- Paynter, J. M., Riley, E. P., Beamish, W., Scott, J. G., & Heussler, H. S. (2015). Brief report: An evaluation of an Australian autism-specific, early intervention programme. International Journal of Special Education, 30(2), 13–19.Google Scholar
- Perry, A., Cummings, A., Geier, J. D., Freeman, N. L., Hughes, S., Managhan, T., … Williams, J. (2011). Predictors of outcome for children receiving intensive behavioral intervention in a large, community-based program. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5(1), 592–603. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2010.07.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Prior, M., Roberts, J. M. A., Rodger, S., & Williams, K. (2011). A review of the research to identify the most effective models of practice in early intervention of children with autism spectrum disorders. Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Australia.Google Scholar
- Productivity Commission. (2011). Disability care and support (Report no. 54). Canberra: Productivity Commission.Google Scholar
- Rogers, S. (2013). Early Start Denver Model. In F. R. Volkmar (Ed.), Encyclodedia of autism spectrum disorders. New York: Springer Publishing.Google Scholar
- Rogers, S. J., & Dawson, G. (2010). Early Start Denver Model for young children with autism: Promoting language, learning, and engagement. New York: The Gilford Press.Google Scholar
- Rogers, S. J., Dawson, G., & Vismara, L. A. (2012). An early start for your child with autism: Using everyday activities to help kids connect, communicate, and learn. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Rutter, M., Bailey, A., & Lord, C. (2003). Social communication questionnaire (SCQ). Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
- Sallows, G. O., & Graupner, T. D. (2005). Intensive behavioral treatment for children with autism: Four-year outcome and predictors. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 110(6), 417–438. https://doi.org/10.1352/0895-8017(2005)110[417:IBTFCW]2.0.CO;2 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Schopler, E. (1994). A statewide program for the Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH). Psychoses and Pervasive Developmental Disorders, 3, 91–103.Google Scholar
- Schreibman, L., Dawson, G., Stahmer, A. C., et al. (2015). Naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions: Empirically validated treatments for autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(8), 2411–2428. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2407-8.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Smith, T., Groen, A. D., & Wynn, J. W. (2000). Randomized trial of intensive early intervention for children with pervasive developmental disorder. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 105(4), 269–285. https://doi.org/10.1352/0895-8017(2000)105<0269:RTOIEI>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Vivanti, G., Paynter, J., Duncan, E., Fothergill, H., Dissanayake, C., & Rogers, S. J. (2014). Feasibility and effectiveness of the Early Start Denver Model implemented in a group-based community childcare setting. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(12), 3140–3153. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2168-9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Wechsler, D. (1999). Wechsler abbreviated scale of intelligence. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
- Wechsler, D. (2011). Wechsler abbreviated scale of intelligence (2nd Edn.). San Antonio, TX: Pearson.Google Scholar