This report was funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).
A Review of the Research to Identify the Most Effective Models of Practice in Early Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
This review was prepared for the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), by Professor Margot Prior, Professor Jacqueline Roberts, Professor Sylvia Rodger and Professor Katrina Williams on behalf of the Australian Autism Research Collaboration (AARC), with assistance from Dr Greta Ridley, Rebecca Sutherland and Susan Dodd.
This review is a follow up and extension of Roberts J. M. A. and Prior M. A, Review of the Research to Identify the Most Effective Models of Practice in Early Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, (2006) Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.
The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of the advisory group for this review: Dr Natalie Silove, Professor Valsamma Eapen, Dr Angelika Anderson and Mrs Judy Brewer Fischer. We would also like to thank the organisations across Australia for completing surveys and providing information: Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders (AAB), Autism Advisors, Parenting Research Centre (PRC), Speech Pathology Australia (SPA), Occupational Therapy Australia, Australian Psychological Society and The Royal Australian College of Physicians, Division of Paediatrics and Child Health.
The Commonwealth of Australia accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any material contained in this report. Additionally, the Commonwealth disclaims all liability to any person in respect of anything, and the consequences of anything, done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether wholly or partially, upon any information contained in this report.
Any views and recommendations of third parties contained in this report do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate a commitment to a particular course of action.
Prior, M., Roberts, J. M.A., Rodger, S., Williams, K. & Sutherland, R. (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.
A Review of the Research to Identify the Most Effective Models of Practice in Early Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. ii
List of tables iv
List of shortened forms iv
Context of the Review 8
Key Considerations and Scope of Review 9
Part 1 – Review 11 1.1. Introduction 11
1.2 Membership of the HCWA EI Provider Panel 15
Key elements of effective interventions 17
Part 2 – Research Evidence for Treatment Efficacy 18
2.1 Introduction 18
2.2 Summary of Research Search and Rating Methodology 19
2.3 Summary of Studies Grouped by Type 21
2.4 Family Based Interventions 27
2.5 Therapy Based Interventions 31
2.6 Other Interventions 35
2.7 Summary of Named Interventions 38
2.8 Interventions Rated According to Research 56
2.9 Summary 68
Part 3 – Stakeholder Surveys 69
3.1 Background and Methodology 69
Part 4 – Issues raised by FaHCSIA for consideration during the development of the review 82
Part 5 – Conclusions and Recommendations 83
1. Improved communication and information sharing between all components and personnel involved in the HCWA Package 83
2. Eligible and ineligible treatments 83
3. Processes for regularly updating information about evidence of effectiveness and best practice 84
4. Reinvigoration of operationalisation of principles of good practice 84
5. Employment of panel staff members with at least two years’ experience and expertise in autism, along with provision of ongoing training 85
6. Revisions pertaining to evaluating provider applications 85
Appendix A: Selected research evidence for treatments of children with ASD 89
Appendix B: Classification system used to group and discuss interventions based on learning 107
Appendix C: Planning Matrix 109
Appendix D: Research strategy and scientific merit rating scale 111
Appendix E: Scientific merit rating scale and outcome data 114
Appendix F: Application of principles of good practice to interventions 132
Appendix G: Copy of peak bodies’ letter and submission request 138