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Treatment of Children with Autism: A Randomized Controlled Trial to Evaluate a Caregiver-Based Intervention Program in Community Day-Care Centers

JOCELYN, LESLIE J. M.D., F.R.C.P.; CASIRO, OSCAR G. M.D., F.R.C.P.; BEATTIE, DELLA M.S.W.; BOW, JANE Ph.D.; KNEISZ, JOSEPH R.P.N.
Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: October 1998
Original Articles: PDF Only

ABSTRACT.

This study reports on the results of a randomized controlled trial that evaluated a caregiverbased intervention program for children with autism in community day-care centers. Thirty-five preschool children with a DSM III-R diagnosis of autism or pervasive developmental disorder were randomized to an experimental or control group. Children in the experimental group were enrolled in day care and their parents and child care workers received a 12-week intervention consisting of lectures and on-site consultations to day-care centers. In addition, supportive work was undertaken with families. Control subjects received day care alone. In the experimental group, there were greater gains in language abilities, significant increases in caregivers' knowledge about autism, greater perception of control on the part of mothers, and greater parent satisfaction. We conclude that this research design demonstrated that the intervention was significantly superior to day care alone.

Address for reprints: Leslie L. Jocelyn, M.D., F.R.C.P., Child Development Clinic, Children's Hospital, 840 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3A 1S1, Canada.

Accepted for presentation at the Society Pediatric Research Meeting, May 1997, Washington, D.C.

© 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.