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Preschool Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: a Review of Effectiveness Studies

  • Jessica TupouEmail author
  • Larah van der Meer
  • Hannah Waddington
  • Jeff Sigafoos
Review Paper
  • 282 Downloads

Abstract

Early intervention is widely recommended for young children with autism spectrum disorder, but the effectiveness of interventions when implemented in inclusive preschool settings needs to be considered. To this end, we identified 16 studies that provided early intervention to children with autism spectrum disorder who were attending inclusive preschools. Effectiveness studies, that is, studies evaluating interventions that were implemented under real-world conditions, were targeted, provided they met the pre-determined inclusion criteria. Included studies were summarized in terms of (a) participant characteristics, (b) intervention procedures, (c) procedures for training teachers, (d) study design, (e) outcomes, (f) study quality, and (g) social validity. A range of intervention procedures were implemented, and positive outcomes for children and/or teachers were reported in most studies. However, methodological limitations were identified for most of the included studies, indicating the need for additional higher-quality research. Still, the present review suggests that teachers may be able to effectively deliver early intervention to young children with autism spectrum disorder in inclusive preschool settings.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Early intervention Teacher-implemented intervention Preschool Effectiveness research Systematic review 

Notes

Funding Information

The preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by a PhD scholarship awarded to Jessica Tupou from Victoria University of Wellington.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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