Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Major breakthrough in treating autism

13.09.2002


Results of a new programme for treating young children with autism have shown that even the most disabled made outstanding progress. Ninety-four percent of those completing the programme so far are now able to attend a mainstream school.



The South West Autism Project (SWAP), directed by Professor Alec Webster of Bristol University and funded by Bristol City Council, was started in September 2000, following a marked rise in the number of children in Bristol being diagnosed with autism. Data from 26 families are now available and show remarkable results.

The children were initially assessed using a baseline test, expressed as an overall developmental quotient - DQ. Baseline assessments ranged from a DQ of 24 - a child with severe learning difficulties - to more able children with a DQ of 100. An Individual Education Plan was then written for each child. The overall objective was to enable the autistic child to make sense of what is to them a bewildering environment, and begin to make active, spontaneous, engagement with it.


Trained tutors worked alongside families in home settings and in playgroups/nurseries on rogrammes geared to develop children`s social interaction, play, communication skills and flexible thinking. Progress was reviewed weekly. On average, families received 10 hours per week intensive provision. All programmes were characterised by small learning steps with a high degree of structure and repetition.

For example, a child with no eye contact and poor social skills is taught turn-taking and how to make requests using a bubble-blowing game; a child who withdraws into a trance-like state, even on short car journeys, is given an `I-spy` card to keep him alert; children who are unable to accept change are taught by a `surprise` card so they can anticipate a change in routine; and children who are afraid of specific places or activities - for example going to the toilet - are helped by placing pictures associated with their favourite obsessions, such as Harry Potter, aliens, tractors, etc.

Key findings show that all children on the programme made significant progress and that it was effective for children across a wide range of ability. In the best case a child with a DQ of 24 gained more than 60 points in 18 months. One third of the group showed DQ gains of more than 45
points and half showed DQ gains of 20 points or more. Children who made the greatest progress received a combination of intervention strategies, including support in mainstream nurseries. To date, 16 out of 17 SWAP `graduates` have gone to mainstream school. Professor Alec Webster at Bristol University said that the results were `dramatic - children made huge gains in academic skills, but more significantly, acquired the social skills to take part in group activities and follow everyday school routines`.

Up to now many parents of children with autism have had to fight legal battles to fund early intervention programmes. As a result, local education authorities (LEAs) were made to fund expensive programmes they were not happy with and which they had no control over. This research points the way forward for LEAs working in partnership with families, and Bristol City Council is leading the way in securing the best approach for young children.

Cherry Lewis | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bris.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>