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 On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

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: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>