School Age Outcomes of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Who Received Community-Based Early Interventions

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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.

Author Contributions

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.

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Research materials related to the paper may be accessed by contacting the corresponding author.

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This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Correspondence to Cheryl Dissanayake.

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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.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Vinen, Z., Clark, M., Paynter, J. et al. School Age Outcomes of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Who Received Community-Based Early Interventions. J Autism Dev Disord 48, 1673–1683 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3414-8

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Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Early Start Denver Model
  • Community
  • Early intervention
  • Long-term
  • School age