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.
Cherry Lewis | alfa
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