Scientists have come up with a new treatment that helps parents improve the social development of children showing early signs of autism.
The study discovered that a preventive intervention during infancy could lead to a significant improvement in children’s social development, which then fell below the threshold of a clinical diagnosis of autism.
The results revealed that children are less likely to have autism spectrum disorder and the severe symptoms of the disease can be eliminated with their age, by providing treatment sessions to parents of children who show signs of autism.
Experts praised the results, which indicate the possibility of improving social development at an early age for children.
The treatment, called iBASIS-VIPP, is based on filming children who show early signs of the disorder interacting with a parent. The video is then studied by a medical therapist to find the best ways to help the children develop. This appears to improve the social development of children with autistic behaviors.
While it did not reflect the developmental difficulties of children showing signs of autism, discovering the signs earlier helped them progress.
Australian and British academics found that children treated in this way were two-thirds less likely to develop autism by age three.
Researchers at the University of Manchester and the University of Western Australia studied 103 children between the ages of 9 and 14 months.
All showed early signs of autism, which could include not smiling, being very upset with certain tastes or sounds, repetitive movements, not speaking like other children, and not making eye contact or responding to their names.
Published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, the study showed how the sessions helped parents understand their children’s abilities to help them socialize and interact.
At the end of the study, the child’s progress was measured through assessments, in tests such as responding to their name call and different facial expressions.
Professor Jonathan Green, a child psychiatrist at the University of Manchester, said: ‘This is the first evidence that a preventative intervention during childhood can lead to such a significant improvement.
Professor Greene added: “By working with each child’s differences, rather than trying to address them, treatment effectively supports their development during early childhood. With this therapy, we provide support before a diagnosis is made, and parents desperately want it. This evidence can help Having an enormous impact on clinical practice and public health does not mean that many clinical trials have such potential.”
Professor Andrew Whitehouse, from the University of Western Australia, praised the results as “enormous”.
“Interventions beginning during the first two years of life, when the first signs of growth variance and rapid brain development are observed, may have a greater impact on developmental outcomes in later childhood. This is a real historic moment for child health research,” he said.
He continued, “Our goal is to understand each child’s strengths and challenges so that we can support and nurture the unique abilities they bring into this world. This is an important step forward in what we hope will be an opportunity to develop new clinical models that use very early intervention in children who show early behavioral signs of autism.” “.
Source: The Sun