International Meeting for Autism Research: Frankfurt Early Intervention Programme: Description and One-Year Therapy Effects on IQ Development

Frankfurt Early Intervention Programme: Description and One-Year Therapy Effects on IQ Development

Thursday, May 12, 2011
Elizabeth Ballroom E-F and Lirenta Foyer Level 2 (Manchester Grand Hyatt)
10:00 AM
E. Duketis, C. Wilker, J. Valerian, S. Feineis-Matthews and C. M. Freitag, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany
Background: To date no German manualized early intervention program for children under the age of 5 years exist. As only a limited number of therapy units per week are supported by public services, intensive early intervention programs are hardly affordable for parents. We therefore set out to develop a program which includes parent information and education, individual therapy with the child, training educational staff and eventually including the children into small therapy groups. Methodological elements are classical ABA approaches for very young children, incidential teaching and natural learning paradigms as well as social learning within the group.

Objectives: In this poster we describe the program and present preliminary one-year follow-up data on 20 children treated within the program, focussing here on IQ-outcome. The study is an effectiveness study on a therapy approach which can easily be implemented in early intervention centres in Germany.

Methods: 20 children with a diagnosis of autism or atypical autism, age 3-5 years old were enrolled into the study. Diagnosis was made by ADI-R and ADOS, IQ testing was performed by the Bayley Scales II or the Snijders Oomen non-verbal intelligence test. Measures were repeated after one year.

Results: Most children who could be tested before and after therapy showed an increase in measured IQ.

Conclusions: This early intervention for preschool children with ASD can be implemented as a therapy within the public service domain, is highly appreciated by parents, children, and therapists, and shows some promise with regard to the improvement of target parameters in children with ASD.

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