Based on your previous interest in our publication the National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism, I am writing to let you know we have just published a new landmark report for families, clinicians, researchers and policy makers, which synthesises the best available high-quality evidence about interventions for children on the autism spectrum aged up to 12 years.
The report, Interventions for children on the autism spectrum: A synthesis of research evidence, was commissioned by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and produced by an expert team of researchers engaged by Autism CRC.
This report is critical because it provides families and clinicians with the best opportunity to make informed decisions when choosing interventions.
The report includes a broad overview of intervention for children on the autism spectrum, including the principles underpinning all interventions, and the rationale behind each category of intervention, such as developmental interventions, behavioural interventions or technology-based interventions.
It also provides a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence for the effects of interventions for children on the spectrum, both therapeutic and otherwise. The evidence review was conducted to international best-practice standards, including only the highest quality of evidence.
A total of 58 systematic reviews were included in the review of evidence. These drew on data from 1,787 unique studies.
We believe the report will be of benefit to the whole autism community: families, clinicians, policy makers and researchers alike.
To support the release of the report, we have also produced two community summaries and overviews for each intervention category. These are all available on our website.
An enormous amount of work has gone into producing this report, and it would not have been possible without the cooperation and substantial contributions of numerous researchers and clinicians from a diverse range of professions.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof Andrew Whitehouse and A/Prof David Trembath, for their significant contributions in leading the development of this report, along with report authors Dr Kandice Varcin, Dr Hannah Waddington, Dr Rhylee Sulek, Dr Cathy Bent, Dr Jill Ashburner, Prof Valsamma Eapen, Dr Emma Goodall, Dr Kristelle Hudry, Prof Jacqueline Roberts and A/Prof Natalie Silove. Their contributions are sincerely appreciated.
We encourage you to share the news of this report's availability with your networks.
Chief Executive Officer
NDIA welcomes release of Autism CRC report on early intervention
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has today welcomed a report into early intervention approaches for young people with autism.
Earlier this year the Agency engaged the Autism Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) to undertake an independent review of the best available evidence for supporting children on the autism spectrum.
The report provides a comprehensive review of the current evidence about non-pharmacologic interventions for children.
The research project was compiled by some of Australia’s leading autism experts, covering lived experience, research and clinical fields.
Autism CRC has today released the report, which will not only assist the NDIA in continuing to adopt the best approaches for young people with autism, but provide important information and guidance for parents and carers of children with autism.
In coming weeks the NDIA will summarise the findings of the review in a discussion paper before extensive consultation with participants, families and the autism and early childhood development sectors.
This consultation will help inform policy and ensure the NDIS continues to provide clear guidance on the best early intervention approaches for children with autism.
“There are more than 120,000 Australians with autism that are being supported by the NDIS, and more than 8,000 children receiving supports through the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach,” NDIA spokesperson Shannon Rees said.
“We know how important quality, evidence-informed early intervention is for supporting child development and independence, and it’s important to ensure the right interventions are in place.
“It’s vital that the Agency continues to conduct important research like this, which can help inform our decisions going forward and assist children and their families to choose interventions that are more likely to have a positive effect for their child and positively impact family outcomes.
“The release of this report is an important step in improving participant experience and early intervention support for children on the autism spectrum in the NDIS.”
See also https://a4.org.au/node/2283