Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who receive high-quality early intervention benefit developmentally regardless of the treatment model used — a surprising result that may have important implications for special-education programs and school classrooms across the country.
“This is the first study designed to compare long-standing comprehensive treatment models for young children with ASD,” said Brian Boyd, a fellow at UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) and one of the study’s co-principal investigators. Boyd also is an assistant professor in occupational science and occupational therapy in UNC’s School of Medicine.
“We know that more children are being diagnosed with ASD each year, and that it can cost an estimated $3.2 million to treat each child over a lifetime. Understanding that a child can benefit from a high-quality program, rather than a specialized program, may help reduce those costs by decreasing the need for teachers and other school practitioners to be trained to deliver multiple specialized services,” Boyd said. He stressed it remains important to ensure educators are trained to provide high-quality programs that meet the special behavioral, communication and other needs of children with ASD.
Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education