Navigation Links
Interest in toys predicts effectiveness of autism treatment in toddlers
Date:3/22/2011

Toddlers who played with a limited number of toys showed more improvement in their communication skills following parent-guided treatment than those receiving other community-based treatments.

The report is the first to examine this autism treatment called Hanen's More Than Words for children younger than 2 showing early signs of an autism spectrum disorder. Caught early enough and treated with the right behavioral therapy, autism symptoms can improve dramatically.

The paper appears online March 22 in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

"This report adds to our emerging knowledge about which interventions work for which kids. It will help match children with the right intervention and not waste time enrolling them in treatments that are not well-suited for them," said co-author Wendy Stone, director of the UW Autism Center.

Stone said that parents often detect autism symptoms when their children reach about 17 to 18 months old. At this age, typical signs of autism include the child using fewer gestures and facial expressions to communicate, and being less likely to initiate social exchanges, such as pointing out something of interest, than other children the same age.

One in 110 children has autism spectrum disorders, which include autistic disorder, Asperger's syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified. More boys, one in 70, than girls are affected.

Few autism interventions focus on toddlers children aged 1 to 3 and those that do can be time-intensive and expensive. Stone and her collaborators wanted to study the effectiveness of a short-term, relatively low-cost intervention for toddlers showing warning signs.

"Our ultimate goal is to catch the symptoms early and find effective preventive interventions so that these children can attain their full potential," Stone said.

Sixty-two children (51 boys and 11 girls) younger than age 2 and meeting criteria for autism disorders, participated in the study with their parents. The researchers measured the toddlers' baseline social and communication skills during a pretest in which parents and their children played with toys and read books while a researcher observed.

Then the youngsters were randomly assigned either to the Hanen's More Than Words program or to a treatment-as-usual control condition. The program is intended to stimulate mature communication, language development and social skills.

The parents in the treatment group learned strategies to help their toddlers communicate, such as practicing taking turns, encouraging eye contact and modeling simple sentences from the child's perspective. For instance, when the child pointed to crackers, the parent wouldn't just hand over the food. Instead, the parent would get down at eye-level with the child and say, "I want crackers."

"By age 2, most kids have already learned how to interact and communicate with others," Stone said. Children showing early signs of autism spectrum disorders don't seem to learn basic social interactions without coaching, she said.

To the researchers' surprise, the intervention did not make a difference in communication skills when they compared the 32 children in the intervention group and the 30 children in the no-treatment group.

But they did find that the intervention helped a subset of the children. Kids who played with fewer toys during the pretest showed more improvement if they received the treatment than if they didn't. They showed more instances of making eye contact, pointing to or reaching for objects of interest and showing or giving the experimenter a toy.

The effect lasted for at least four months after the intervention ended. To Stone, playtime is a logical time to help children develop communication skills. "Playing with toys provides great opportunities for teaching social and communication skills," she said. "It enables children and caregivers to share a focus of attention."


'/>"/>

Contact: Molly McElroy
mollywmc@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Female fish -- and humans? -- lose interest when their male loses a slugfest
2. Jell-O lab-on-a-chip devices to spark interest in science careers
3. New iPhone App “Wing Chun Masters” Brings 400-Year-Old Kung Fu To Life Amidst Renewed Popular Interest In Culture.
4. Press invitation, conference: Is medical ethics really in the best interest of the patient?
5. Interesting stories at the IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference
6. Interest in Costa Rica Health Care is Nothing to Sneeze at
7. FDA to Broaden Disclosure on Advisers Conflicts of Interest
8. NursePractitionerBusinessOwner.com Announces No-Charge Teleseminar for Nurse Practitioners Interested in Starting Their Own Practice
9. Study shows strong interest in palliative care programs, services and integration vary across nation
10. buySAFE, Inc. Releases a Breakthrough White Paper that is a Must Read for Every Internet Retailer Interested in Increasing Website Conversion
11. New online tool predicts probability of death from stroke
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... AvePoint, ... release of DocAve 6 Service Pack (SP) 7, the enterprise-class infrastructure ... 2016 and take advantage of the platform’s latest features – whether in an ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... LunchSkins is changing the future of ... of single-use, throw away plastic baggies. The mission-driven bags give back to global leaders ... “The LunchSkins mission is all about reducing global plastic waste and we’ve ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... FDA approved sSOIP telemedicine stethoscope software that enables the stethoscope stream to go ... PCP-SSP and works with RNK’s flagship PCP-USB stethoscope. , Remote auscultation involves two ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... ... As directed by its board of directors during its April 26 meeting, The ... nurse practitioners (CNP) to practice to the full scope of their license without the ... and 3,600 hours. , In addition, HAP supports CNPs who are licensed in another ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... educational website to help consumers better understand life insurance throughout various life stages. ... including an easy-to-use life insurance needs calculator and content specific to the times ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. , April 29, 2016 ... technology industry is projected to shift from systems ... can replace all types of modality CRT Medical ... set-up." Although there are a host of foreseeable ... a serious concern; will existing modalities have to ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... 2016 Interview ... Sanofi, leader mondial et diversifié ... pour le premier trimestre 2016. Le ... commente les résultats du premier trimestre ... le reste de l,année. ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016   Click here for supplemental information ... DPLO), the nation,s largest independent specialty pharmacy, announced ... to acquire Valley Campus Pharmacy, Inc., doing business ... specialty pharmacy that provides individualized patient care, based ... In 2015, TNH generated approximately $400 million in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: