Autism: Skill Set Over Model


Patients on the Autistic Spectrum pose special challenges, and it seems that every year the percentage of patients that we see in our practices who are on the spectrum continues to climb.  Effective communication with preschoolers on the spectrum a huge issue, so I was pleased in a way to read the following item yesterday from Education Week.

Study: High Quality Matters More Than Specific Model for Preschoolers with Autism

The study was published in the June issues of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and the researchers have written a layman-friendly version of their findings.

JADDAs a brief synopsis, the study compared two Comprehensive Treatment Models, or CTMs, commonly used to help children with Autism learn: TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication-Handicapped Children)  and LEAP (Learning Experiences and Alternate Program for Preschoolers and their Parents).  They found little difference overall between the outcomes of the two models, and a program that used neither model exclusively, but high quality teachers, good methods, and engaged parents.  This is an important take-home message, and I would venture to say is the hallmark of any good intervention.  The quality of the caregivers and the buy-in by parents is as important as proprietary features.

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