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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 126-137

Educational, behavioral, and social interventions for autistic children, with particular reference to those at the more severe end of the spectrum: An overview of systematic reviews

1 MENA Research Group, School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK
2 School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK

Correspondence Address:
Mrs. Salima Yousif A Elzouki
MENA Research Group, School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, LS1, 3HE, Leeds
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/LJMS.LJMS_58_18

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This paper presents an analysis of the available systematic reviews of educational, behavioral, and social interventions for children on the autism spectrum. Forty-six out of 1299 full-text articles were assessed against eligibility criteria, with a further 16 articles excluded for different reasons. The quality of the remaining 30 reviews was variable, and a further five were excluded due to low methodological quality. In the remaining 25 systematic reviews, none of the intervention types was found superior to the others, and there is generally weak evidence for the effectiveness of the reviewed interventions in improving autism-related impairments. Applicability of this evidence on children with severe autism is generally questionable. While there have been repeated calls for more large-scale studies, specifically randomized controlled trials, we conclude that the environments in which interventions typically take place are not conducive to this. Instead, researchers are advised to adopt sensitive, evidence-based approaches that work well with small sample groups.

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