There are Gains, But can we Tell for Whom and Why? Predictors of Treatment Response Following Group Early Start Denver Model Intervention in Preschool - Aged Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
2Academic Unit of Child Psychiatry South West Sydney (AUCS), South West Sydney Local Health District, Liverpool Hospital, ICAMHS, Mental Health Centre (Level L1), Locked Bag 7103, Liverpool BC NSW 1871, Australia
- *Corresponding Author:
- Eapen V
School of Psychiatry and Ingham Institute
University of New South Wales
Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
Tel: +61 2 9616 4205
Fax: +61 2 9601 2773
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: January 19, 2016 Accepted date: March 03, 2016 Published date: March 10, 2016
Citation: Eapen V, Crncec R, Walter A (2016) There are Gains, But can we Tell for Whom and Why? Predictors of Treatment Response Following Group Early Start Denver Model Intervention in Preschool - Aged Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Open Access 6:168. doi:10.4172/2165-7890.1000168
Copyright: © 2016 Eapen V, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
There is significant variability in treatment outcomes across different interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder and between individuals receiving the same intervention. This is likely related to the considerable phenotypic variability in ASD, which is posited to arise from a developmental cascade whereby a primary deficit in attention to social stimuli leads ultimately to widespread and diverse behavioural and functional difficulties. Purpose: To provide data on predictors of treatment outcome in a cohort of preschool - aged children with ASD receiving a group Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) intervention. Methodology: Forty-nine children (mean age 52 months) with ASD receiving group ESDM over 10 months were assessed pre - and post-intervention for ASD symptoms, developmental level, and adaptive functioning; together with measures of parental stress and coping. Results: Lower initial ASD symptomatology, particularly higher social affect and play skills, and younger age at entry to intervention predicted better outcomes. Conclusion: Reflective of hypotheses from the developmental cascade theory, younger age at entry predicted treatment gains, supporting efforts to include children in comprehensive treatment promptly. Moreover, greater initial social impairments led to relatively poorer outcomes, potentially suggesting that children with greater social affect difficulties may require a higher dose, or modified intervention, to that used in this study.