Doctors have shown for the first time that new treatments for infants can reduce autistic behavior and reduce the likelihood that children will be diagnosed with autism before they reach school age.
Infants treated after showing potential early signs of autism, such as avoiding eye contact or not responding to names, are 3 years old compared to infants receiving standard care. Was one-third more likely to be diagnosed with autism. Discovered by researchers.
Findings show that intervention in the first year of life, where autism may be suspected but uncertain, boosts the social development of children with autism and long-term into their broader life. It suggests that it has a beneficial knock-on effect.
“This is the first global evidence that preemptive interventions can reduce the behavior of autism and the likelihood of subsequent diagnosis,” said Professor Jonathan Green of the University of Manchester.
“We consider this a breakthrough discovery, as it suggests that this early intervention could have this substantial effect. That is because the service is available worldwide. May change the way we provide support to many children. “
An international research team led by Professor Andrew Whitehouse of the University of Western Australia in Perth evaluated 104 babies aged 9 to 14 months who attracted the attention of local health services after showing early signs of autism. bottom. Half were randomly assigned to regular care, while the other half received 10 treatments over a 5-month period. At 18, 24, and 36 months, everyone was reassessed about their autistic behavior.
During the therapy session, we videotaped parents playing with their children. The therapist then watched the footage with the parents to help them understand the different ways their children are trying to communicate and how to engage with them. The aim was to strengthen the connection between parents and children and improve “traffic” to help babies develop their social communication skills.
Write in the journal Jama Pediatrics, Researchers explain how treatment seemed to reduce some of the symptoms of autism. This change remained predominantly until the children were three years old. At that point, an independent clinician evaluated each child. One-fifth of those who received standard treatment were diagnosed with autism, but only 6.7% of those who received treatment.
Studies have shown that children scored higher not only for social interactions, but also for other symptoms such as repetitive movements and abnormal reactions to sensations such as the senses of smell and taste. Further follow-up is needed to see if treatment merely delays the diagnosis or interferes with the diagnosis in some children.
Researchers emphasize that this therapy is not a cure for autism. At the end of the study, at the age of three, many of the children still had serious developmental problems. However, findings suggest that coordinated treatments may help at least some infants develop social skills before reaching school age.
“The immediate clinical consequences are really awesome,” said the White House. “So far, no treatment has had a positive developmental effect that could affect a child’s diagnosis.
“For this reason, this treatment has the very real potential to change the way we provide support to children of different developments. Most basically, this is from” wait and see. ” It is a change to “identify and act” and is a new clinical model that may change support for families. “
However, this study raises serious questions about how autism services should be provided. Some children who have improved their treatment may require professional care, but they will not be eligible if they have not been formally diagnosed. Green said the findings “highlight system flaws,” adding that services should be designed based on needs, not diagnostics.
Tim Nichols, policy director for the British Autism Association, said the study had some positive aspects, but criticized the researchers for their lack of community involvement.
“It is important that further research on very early interventions does not attempt to reduce the’severity’. Early intervention must be about helping people with autism who have the greatest challenges they face, “he said. “People with autism must be involved at every stage in order for effective research in this area to take place in the future.”
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