Review of the Research to Identify the Most Effective Models of Practice in Early Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Appendix B: Classification system used to group and discuss interventions based on learning

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Appendix B: Classification system used to group and discuss interventions based on learning

Behavioural Interventions

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)

(Early) Intensive Behavioural Interventions (EIBI/IBI)

Contemporary ABA e.g. NLP

Developmental Interventions

Developmental Social-Pragmatic Model (DSP)

Floor time

Relationship Development Intervention

Play therapy

Combined Interventions

SCERTS(Social-Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support)

TEACCH (Treatment and education of autistic and related communication handicapped children)

LEAP (Learning Experiences – An Alternative Program for Preschoolers and Parents)

Family Based Interventions

The Hanen Program

The Early Bird Program

Therapy Based Interventions

Tend to focus on development of skills in specific areas such as communication, cognition, social and motor

Communication Focused Interventions

Visual Supports/Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC)

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

Social Stories

Facilitated Communication (FC)

Functional Communication Training (FCT)

Social Skills Interventions

Sensory/Motor Interventions

Sensory Integration

Auditory Integration Training

Doman-Delacato method

Other Interventions

Higashi/Daily Life Therapy

The Option Method

Music Intervention Therapy


The Camphill Movement

Miller Method

Interventions for co-morbid conditions associated with autism such as anxiety, challenging behaviour



Appendix C: Planning Matrix

This is a useful tool to facilitate multidisciplinary program development and for including input from families.

This information and more is available on the Positive Partnerships website:

Positive Partnerships Planning Matrix

The characteristics of autism affect all aspects of a person’s life. Even when children with autism share characteristics, the impact of these will be different and will depend on the age, developmental stage and individual strengths. To be effective, strategies need to be designed to reflect the individual’s strengths and needs. The Positive Partnerships Planning Matrix can help those involved with the student to develop a shared understanding these strengths and needs.

What is the Planning Matrix?

The planning matrix enables parents, teachers and others working with a student with autism to create a snapshot of the individual. It clearly identifies the characteristics of autism and how these impact on the life of the student. The planning matrix also outlines key strategies that work for that student.

The planning matrix is completed by a child’s support team. This could include parents or carers, school personnel, allied health professionals or others working with the child. A matrix can be completed at any time and will be particularly useful when a child is transitioning between classes, schools or settings.

How can the Planning Matrix be used?
The Planning Matrix is a way to gather and record information about the characteristics and impact of autism, relevant to the student. For this reason, no two matrices will be exactly alike.
A completed Planning Matrix:

will be a ‘snapshot’ of the student – as the child develops and changes, adapt and update your planning matrix so that it grows with the individual

allows you to easily describe how the characteristics of an ASD present for the student, the impact of these characteristics and what the team can do to support the individual

will be useful when reviewing or auditing – if the impact changes or the strategies require adjustment

can be used to support annual review of students needs by paediatricians and allied health professionals

can be used to support planning and transition

can be used to communicate the important information about the impact of autism to siblings, extended family members, baby sitters, sports coaches, future employers.

Completing a Planning Matrix

The planning matrix consists of five columns (communication, social interaction, repetitive behaviours and restricted interests, sensory processing and information processing/learning styles. With the child’s team, provide concise information in these areas:

Communication: How the student communicates with others, including how they express themselves and their ability to comprehend what is communicated to them.

Social interaction: The student’s understanding of social rules along with their ability to make and maintain friendships, understand emotions, read and respond to other people.

Repetitive behaviours & restricted interests: How the student responds to routines and change, the presence of unusual movements or vocalisations and any special interests.

Sensory processing: The student’s response to sensory information - touch, taste, smell, sight, sound, proprioception (knowing where their body is in space) and vestibular processing (balance) information.

Information processing / learning styles: How the child processes information including their learning strengths and difficulties and how they prefer to learn (e.g. better understanding of visual input compared to auditory input). It also includes the capacity to plan and organise, impulsivity, self-regulation, concrete and literal thinking and attention difficulties.
There are three rows to complete for each of the areas above – What are the characteristics of autism for this student? What are the impacts of these? What strategies will be useful?

Characteristics: The features, difficulties, strengths and differences that the student displays in each of the areas above.

Impact: The effect a particular characteristic has on the student at home, at school and/or in the community.

Strategies: Modifications, adjustments and activities to support the student. This will include strategies to minimise negative impacts and enhance the positive impact of the student’s identified challenges and characteristics. In an educational setting, this will include adjustments and accommodations.
A completed planning matrix will be a ‘snapshot’ of the student – as the child develops and changes, adapt and update your planning matrix so that it grows with the individual.

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