In recent years, several non-specialist mediated interventions have been developed and tested to address problematic symptoms associated with autism. These can be implemented with a fraction of cost required for specialist delivered interventions. This review represents a robust evidence of clinical effectiveness of these interventions in improving the social, motor and communication deficits among children with autism.
An electronic search was conducted in eight academic databases from their inception to 31st December 2018. A total of 31 randomized controlled trials were published post-2010 while only 2 were published prior to it. Outcomes pertaining to communication, social skills and caregiver-child relationship were meta-analyzed when reported in > 2 studies.
A significant improvement was noted in child distress (SMD = 0.55), communication (SMD = 0.23), expressive language (SMD = 0.47), joint engagement (SMD = 0.63), motor skills (SMD = 0.25), parental distress (SMD = 0.33) parental self-efficacy (SMD = 0.42) parent-child relationship (SMD = 0.67) repetitive behaviors (SMD = 0.33), self-regulation (SMD = 0.54), social skills (SMD = 0.53) symptom severity (SMD = 0.44) and visual reception (SMD = 0.29).
Non-specialist mediated interventions for autism spectrum disorder demonstrate effectiveness across a range of outcomes for children with autism and their caregivers.
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