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:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... ... at the 2016 Anti-Aging & Beauty Awards at The Aesthetic & Anti-aging ... Anti-aging Medicine European Congress (AMEC) brings together the industry’s leading scientific experts, ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... Columbus, OH (PRWEB) , ... December 05, 2016 ... ... novel engineering solution called the CardioQuick Patch® significantly improves the reproducibility and accuracy ... usability in various healthcare settings. , Over the last 60 years, studies ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... December 03, 2016 ... ... largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to funding innovative lymphoma research and serving the ... services – hosted its first Swirl: A Wine Tasting Event in New York ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... ... December 03, 2016 , ... While James Earl Jones is known ... for in a show called "Front Page". One of the forthcoming episodes examines mammogram ... rates have plummeted in large part due to early detection. Like any other disease, ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... ... December 03, 2016 , ... ... Entrepreneurial Company in the Dallas area” Tuesday evening at the 26th Annual SMU ... presented by SMU's Cox School’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship. Dallas 100™, co-founded by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/4/2016)... 2016   Pairnomix, LLC, a genetic research company ... by the White House, today announced that findings from its ... of candidate therapies for a patient with epileptic encephalopathy caused ... presented at the 70 th Annual Meeting of the ... , December 2-6, 2016.  Pairnomix, unique process ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... , Dec. 3, 2016  Findings from ... safety of CTL019, an investigational chimeric antigen receptor ... pediatric and young adult patients with B-cell acute ... an oral session at the 58th American Society ... 3, 4:00-5:30 p.m.). The global Phase II study ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... British Columbia , December 2, 2016 bioLytical Laboratories, ... de la Compañía, el INSTI HIV Self Test , a los miembros ... ... INSTI HIV Self Test! (PRNewsFoto/bioLytical Laboratories) ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161201/444905 ) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: