Autism, Autism Tests & Diagnosis, Science

Predicting Succesful Autism Treatments

Autism is a very individualistic problem which requires finding the right approach for the individual. It is also very important to treat it early so months spent on a treatment that isn’t suitable can be costly in more ways than one.
An article on Medical News Today looks at a study designed to identify children who are most likely to benefit from a treatment programme called Pivotal Response Training (PRT). Researchers looked at children who had either responded very well to the treatment or had responded very poorly. They built up profiles of those children and used them to predict which of a new group of children would respond and which would not. This was a double-blind study so neither the patients or the PRT trainers knew what the study was about to avoid the children accidentally receiving different treatment. After five weeks those predicted as not responding hadn’t shown any sign of improvement and the treatment was stopped for them. For those benefiting from the therapy the treatment was continued. Importantly, one of the non-responding children started a different treatment programme and made significant progress. This demonstrates the important fact that the screening process did not just identify those who could not be treated by any method.