IES posts about studies of autism in early childhood and elementary years
Did US research using federal funds provide insights?
On 27 April 2022, the National Center for Special Education Research of the US Institute for Education Sciences posted a blog entry that briefly recounted two research efforts in the area of autism. One research project was aimed at toddlers (Supporting Early Interventionists of Toddlers with Autism to Build Family Capacity) and the other (Comprehensive School-based Intervention) addressed the social competencies of elementary age children with high functioning autism spectrum disorder.
In the toddler-focused project, Hannah Schertz and Kathleen Baggett, developed and tested a system for guiding early interventionists in their work supporting parents. They focused their guides on social reciprocity, joint attention, socially interactive play, and positive social behavior.
In the elementary-focused project, Christopher Lopata and his colleagues, Jonathan Rodgers, James Donnelly, and Marcus Thomeer, found that their training package led to improvements in social cognition, social-communication, and ASD symptoms. They are continuing to follow the children to examine how long the effects last.
The IES-affiliated authors of the blog post, Julianne Kasper and Emily Weaver, provided brief summaries of studies of the two projects as well as links to resources with additional information. Readers can review their blog post at Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Early Childhood: Preliminary and Long-Term Impacts.