(dailyRx News) When parents of autistic children begin conversations about schooling, studies suggest tailoring learning processes to the disease yield more beneficial results for patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
A new study highlights the benefits of placing autistic children in disorder-trained schools. Early and Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) proved itself effective in clinical studies, and researchers attempted to gauge its efficacy in community settings.
The study, available through the journal Research In Autism Spectrum Disorders, examined thirty-five children receiving one year of EIBI against twenty-four control patients receiving treatment as usual.
Svein Eikeseth, Ph.D., behavioral science professor at Oslo and Akershus University in Norway, authored the study with three other mental health professionals. “The children receiving EIBI had significantly larger increases in adaptive behavior during one year of treatment,” the doctor explains.
“One year of treatment also resulted in decreases in maladaptive behaviors and autism symptoms. A second year of treatment maintained results in adaptive behavior and further decreased autism symptoms,” Eikeseth adds.
An EIBI program utilizes certified professionals with a background in behavioral analysis, education, occupational therapy, speech therapy, as well as other psychology-related fields to reach autistic children.
According to the Area Cooperative Educational Services, an organization focused on improving public education, EIBI is a highly structured teaching approach designed for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) patients based on well-studied principals of cognitive development and child psychology.
Many parents choose EIBI over mainstreaming ASD children in public schools, although moderate costs do apply.
Dr. Eikeseth notes, “Children in the EIBI group showed significant improvements in adaptive behaviors, maladaptive behaviors, and autism symptoms after one year of treatment, and this change continued into the second year of treatment, albeit to a lesser degree.”
With significant gains in EIBI-enrolled patients versus those receiving treatment as usual, it’s important to analyze the costs and benefits of this novel intervention.