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Maureen Grissom, PhD

Developmental Assessment & Intervention Center
Bedford Hills, NY 10507

Autism Spectrum Disorders


Children with ASDs are not typically curable. The goal of interventions is to reduce behavioral problems, increase functional independence, and decrease family stress. Medications are not usually indicated unless they can help reduce some undesirable comorbidities such as hyperactivity or seizures (Leskovec, et al., 2008). Instead, effective interventions involve working with the child intensively as soon as a diagnosis of ASDs is seriously suspected.

Interventions with differing philosophies (developmental, behavioral, emphasizing social skills, etc.) have been reported (Lord, McGee, 2001). Interventions using applied behavior analysis have shown positive effects (Lovaas, 1987; McEachin, 1993; Reichow, Wolery, 2009). Research has tried to identify effective interventions that improve the symptoms of autism (Ospina et al., 2008). Most of these interventions require substantial time (20 hours a week or more), with one-on-one instruction, involvement of parents, considerable structure, and documenting progress and setbacks (Myers, Johnson, 2007).

A review of educational and medical interventions is here. The Missouri Autism Guidelines Initiative reported on evidence based interventions. An NIMH resource reviews ASDs, describes various interventions, and lists some sites.

Interventions are expensive.

Video of some ASD interventions.

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Last Update: Apr 15 2013