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ESDM early intervention improves brain activity associated with social cues
Date:10/26/2012

not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). These children were randomly assigned to receive either ESDM or community intervention for a period of two years. The EEG activity was measured at the end of the intervention period. These children were matched by chronological age to typically-developing children at the time of the EEG assessment. The children studied included Asian, white, Latino and multi-racial ethnicities and the male-to-female ratio was 3.5:1. About 60 percent of children in each group provided adequate EEG data for analysis. A group of typical four year olds were also tested for comparison.

Those children receiving ESDM intervention were provided the services of trained therapists for 20 hours a week and parents also were trained to deliver the intervention. Children in the comparison group received treatment as usual in the community and were given evaluations, referrals, and resource manuals and reading materials at the beginning of services and twice annually.

On an individual level, 11 of 15 children with ASD in the ESDM group (73 percent) and 12 of 17 children (71 percent) in the typically-developing or control group showed higher levels of brain activation when viewing faces than when viewing objects compared to only 5 of 14 (36 percent) in the community intervention group of children with ASD. At the end of the study, the children with ASD in the ESDM group exhibited brain activity comparable to age-matched typically-developing children and significantly different from the children with ASD who received community interventions.

"We know that infant brains are quite malleable and had previously demonstrated that this therapy capitalizes on the potential of learning that an infant brain has in order to limit autism's deleterious effects," said Sally Rogers, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, a study co-author and a researcher at the UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, Calif. "The findings on impro
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Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein
jrubinstein@rubenstein.com
212-843-8287
Autism Speaks
Source:Eurekalert  

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